HC refuses to quash PE against Revenue Officer

27/09/2022
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JAMMU, Sep 26: Justice Sanjay Dhar of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court while refusing to quash the preliminary enquiry against revenue official, observed that 7 The purpose of verification of the complaints and holding of preliminary enquiry is to ascertain the veracity of the allegations made in the complaint, otherwise a public servant would be susceptible to reckless prosecution and no public servant would be able to take decisions in a free and fair manner. It is for this reason that before registration of an FIR against a public servant, in matters relating to corruption, the case is examined and verified by adopting any of the modes provided in clause 3.7 of the aforesaid Chapter. Thus, holding of a preliminary enquiry into the allegations made in the complaint is in the interest of the public servant; otherwise, if an FIR is registered straightway without undertaking any verification, there is every chance that the public servant may be exposed to reckless prosecution.
Justice Sanjay Dhar while dismissing the petition, observed that the petitioner, in the instant, without waiting for the result of the preliminary enquiry, has rushed to this Court and filed the instant petition challenging the process adopted by the ACB, Jammu, which apparently is for safeguarding the interest of the petitioner. The petition is, therefore, premature in nature.
In the petition filed by Shashi Pal Singh was appointed as Patwari on 08.08.2002 and he was promoted as Girdawar in April 2022. It is submitted that Mutation No. 1351 dated 18.11.1987 was attested by the Revenue Officer under Section 4 of Agrarian Reforms Act with respect to the land measuring 4 kanal in khasra No. 1255 min at village Sarore Tehsil Bishnah, District Jammu, whereafter mutation No. 1357 dated 16.11.1987 was attested by the concerned Revenue Officer under Section 8 of the Agrarian Reforms Act. It is also averred that respondents No. 4 and 5 filed an appeal before Additional Deputy Commissioner, Jammu against the aforesaid orders of mutations which is still pending before him. It is further submitted that respondents No. 4 and 5 have also filed a civil suit against Rajinder Singh and others seeking declaration that the sale deed dated 18.12.2009 executed by deceased Gian Singh may be declared as null and void and the parties have been directed to maintain status quo in terms of order passed in the said suit. On the basis of the aforesaid assertions, it has been contended that the petitioner has done nothing wrong and, as such, it was not open to the ACB Jammu to call him for questioning in connection with verification of the complaint stated to have been filed by respondent Nos.4 and 5. It has been further contended that because the litigation in respect of mutations in question is pending before the Revenue Court and Civil Court, as such, no verification could have been initiated against the petitioner.
The petitioner filed present petition to quash the preliminary enquiry initiated by Anticorruption Bureau.

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