CAT sets aside suspension of Delhi police constable

A Delhi police constable’s suspension for his alleged involvement in a kidnapping case has been quashed by the Central Administrative Tribunal, which said the inquiry against him was wrongly held as a court had ruled there was no evidence against him.

The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) bench of its members George Paracken and Manjulika Gautam said the Delhi police rules under which the disciplinary action was taken against Constable Raj Singh was wrongly invoked.

‘We are, therefore, satisfied provisions of Delhi police (Punishment and Appeal) Rules, 1980 were wrongly invoked in the case of applicant (Singh). In spite of the fact that there was a clear cut finding of the criminal court that there was not sufficient evidence against applicant, the respondents (Delhi government) continued to proceed in the matter on the ground that witnesses had been won over.

‘In view of the above, impugned orders cannot be sustained and are hereby quashed and set aside.

...period of suspension shall be treated as period spent on duty,’ the CAT bench said. The Delhi police rules provide for taking disciplinary action against an officer acquitted by a criminal court.

Defending its decision to suspend Singh for a year, the Delhi Police had contended that the prosecution witnesses in the criminal case against the constable had turned hostile and were ‘probably’ won over, hence the inquiry was held.

The tribunal, however, noted ‘there was no finding either by the criminal court or by the Deputy Commissioner of Police that witnesses have been won over.’

Singh was facing trial for the offences of kidnapping, wrongful confinement and criminal intimidation under the IPC. He was removed from service in 2002 after the FIR was lodged against him but was reinstated in 2006 on the orders of the CAT. In 2010, the departmental inquiry was initiated against him, pending which he was acquitted in the criminal case by the court which ruled there was no evidence against him.

The disciplinary proceeding, however, was not stopped and he was suspended for a year.
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