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Allahabad HC quashes suspension of employee merely due to FIR

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The Allahabad High Court has not accepted the suspension of an employee only on the basis of having an FIR lodged against him. The Court said the same basis has been taken in the charge-sheet given to the employee which is in the FIR. This means that the officer issuing the suspension order has not exercised his discretion.

The Court, while quashing the suspension order, directed the petitioner to file his reply on the charge-sheet. A single bench of Justice Neeraj Tiwari heard the petition of Rajkumar Tiwari, a Class III employee in the Food Controller’s Office, Mirzapur.

The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the petitioner has been working as a Class III employee in the office of Regional Food Controller, Vindhyachal Region, Mirzapur. State Government on April 28, 2018 issued policy for appointment of Handling and Transport Contractor, which provides three members committee for that purpose. Pursuant to that, order dated February 01,2020, Regional Food Controller, Vindhyachal Region, Mirzapur also appointed committee for the said purpose.

Advertisement was issued, tenders were invited and technical bids were opened. For District Gopiganj, four firms were found eligible and ultimately, contract was given to M/s Laptop Care order dated on June 10, 2020. Against M/s Laptop Care, certain complaints were received due to which notice dated on July 24 , 2020 was issued and ultimately, order dated 14.8.2020, contract of M/s Laptop Care was cancelled.

He further submits that in the technical bid of another firm, namely, M/s Vineet Inter Prizes also found successful, but contract was not awarded to that firm, therefore, that proprietor of firm has lodged FIR against M/s Laptop Care, Petitioner and others at P.S. Gopiganj, which was registered as case crime no. 303 of 2020, under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471, 506 I.P.C. and Section 66 of Information of Technology Act, 2008.

In the complete procedure of allotment of contract, the petitioner is having no role, but he has been placed under suspension only on the ground that criminal proceeding has been initiated against him by lodging of FIR. Investigating Officer submitted final report dated on October 29, 2020 and endorsement was also made in GD on October 28, 2020, the Counsel added.

Competitive company Vineet Inter Prizes filed a lawsuit at Gopiganj Police Station against several people including M/s Lap Top and petitioner for not getting the contract. The petition was suspended on the basis of this FIR.

The Senior Advocate said that after the Court sought an answer in the matter, petitioner was caught by the department in a hurry, with the intention of defending himself. There is no fact against the Petitioner in the charge sheet.

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After looking at the documents, the Court said that the chargesheet has been prepared on the basis of FIR. No separate investigation was conducted. Court has cancelled the suspension order.

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