Sunday, October 2, 2022

Allahabad High Court stays suspension of former Basic Education Council Secretary

The Court summoned the Director General of Basic Education in UP, to explain as to under which provision of law he has formed a separate panel from the office of the Chief Standing Counsel on the matter and gave him two weeks to reply.

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The Allahabad High Court has given the Uttar Pradesh government two weeks time to reply on the matter while staying the suspension order of former Basic Education Council Secretary, Sanjay Sinha.

A Single Bench of Justice Saral Srivastava passed this order on July 19, while hearing a petition filed by Sanjay Sinha. The Court noted that the Director-General, Basic Education UP, Lucknow is a department under the state of Uttar Pradesh and the office of Chief Standing Counsel has received notice on behalf of respondents, therefore, in such circumstances, it is very strange that how Director General, Basic Education, UP, Lucknow/respondent no.2 has formed a separate panel, when the department is being represented by Chief Standing Counsel. 

In such circumstances, the Court feels it proper to summon Director General, Basic Education, UP, Lucknow/respondent no.2 to explain as to under which provision of law he has formed a separate panel from the office of Chief Standing Counsel. 

In this regard, he may file a personal affidavit and explain the purpose of forming a separate panel from a panel of Standing Counsel formed by the State Government. 

The petitioner, by means of a writ petition, has assailed the order dated March 5, 2021, passed by Additional Chief Secretary, UP Government, suspending him. 

It is contended by Counsel for the Petitioner that two complaints have been submitted against the petitioner by unknown persons without any affidavit in support of those complaints. 

He submitted that under Government Order dated April 19, 2012, it is mandatory that the complaint should be supported by an affidavit of the person who has made a complaint. 

He further submitted that a show cause notice was issued to the petitioner on January 23, 2020, and a detailed reply to the said show cause notice was submitted by the petitioner. 

He also submitted that frivolous charges have been levelled against him which are based upon a finding and roving enquiry by the authorities so as to make out a case for suspension against him. 

Counsel for the Petitioner said that he has lastly been posted as Secretary, Basic Education Council till September, 2018 and since then, he has never been posted as the same. All the charges levelled against the petitioner pertain to the period for which he was working as Secretary, Basic Education Council. 

Thus, he submitted that the suspension order has been passed after about three years from the date he has been shifted from the post of Secretary, Board of Basic Education. 

The Counsel further said the purpose of suspension is to facilitate the conduct of enquiry and in this case, for about three years, the petitioner has been posted on different posts other than Secretary, Basic Education Council and thus, it cannot be said that the petitioner can in any way tamper the evidence to be used against him. 

He also said that the petitioner is on the verge of superannuation and is going to retire on August 31, 2021. Thus, the submission is that the suspension order has been passed mechanically without application of mind. 

Also Read: Delhi High Court to allow physical hearing from August 16 in district courts

Manish Goel, Additional Advocate General submitted that the charges levelled against the petitioner are so serious so as to award major punishment. He submitted that there is every apprehension that the petitioner can tamper the evidence against him. Goel has denied the argument of Ashok Khare that no affidavit was filed by the complainant in support of the complaint.

“AK Goel, Standing Counsel, is granted two weeks time to file counter affidavit. One week time thereafter is allowed to the petitioner for filing rejoinder affidavit. 

Until further orders of the Court, operation of the order dated March 5, 2021, passed by the Additional Chief Secretary, UP Government shall remain stayed. However, it is made clear that enquiry against the petitioner shall continue and the petitioner shall cooperate with the enquiry. It is further provided that the respondents shall endeavour to conclude enquiry expeditiously preferably within a period of two months,” the Court ordered.  The Court has fixed the next hearing on August 31, 2021.

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