Hyderabad: Stating that no public servant shall behave in a manner which is derogatory to the prestige of the government, the Telangana High Court upheld the decision of the police to take departmental disciplinary action against a police constable, even after he was acquitted of criminal charges by the criminal court.
A division bench of the High Court was dealing with a petition filed by the Commandant of the Special Armed Reserve Central Police Lines (SARCPL) seeking to set aside the order of the Administr-ative Tribunal, which had given relief to police constable M. Ramesh.
The court said that the acquittal of criminal charges on account of witnesses turning hostile cannot be a ground to interfere with the disciplinary action passed in departmental proceedings.
Ramesh was suspended for his alleged involvement in a criminal case. Along with his nephew, he had allegedly intercepted the vehicle of one D. Dayanand and robbed `9,700, a gold ring and a cellphone on April 2010. Senior officials found gross misconduct with Ramesh falsely reporting sick on May 2010 to cover up his involvement in the crime and his arrest by the civil police.
Initiating departmental disciplinary action, the officials imposed the pena-lty of reduction in the time scale of pay for two stages, for two years, with a cumulative effect on future increments and pension.
A criminal court acquitted him as the complainant and witnesses turned hostile. With disciplinary proceedings still under implementation by the department, Ramesh approached the Administrative Tribunal to revoke these charges. He succeeded with the tribunal setting aside the proceedings issued by the department against him.
Aggrieved by the tribunal order, the police approa-ched the High Court. The court said he did not get “an honorable” acquittal and upheld the disciplinary proceedings against the constable....