Thursday, March 7, 2024

Action under criminal justice system and under service jurisprudence may run together: Justice Dr. Anshuman, Patna High Court

In Ashok Kumar Sharma v. State Of Bihar, Justice Dr. Anshuman observed, "this Court is of the firm view that action under criminal justice system and under service jurisprudence may run together...The official shall be at liberty to continue the departmental and criminal proceeding simultaneously, but shall only take care that findings of a criminal case and findings of service matters should be different and their standard of provings are also different." 

The petition has been filed for staying the departmental proceeding initiated against the petitioner pursuant to memo of charge dated April 13,2017 till completion of the criminal case based on the same set of facts and charges and evidences.

The writ petition was disposed off directing the authorities to proceed in accordance with law and under strict guideline of Bihar Government Servant (Classification, Control & Appeal) Rules, 2005. Notably, the Court that had passed an interim order in favour of the petitioner vide memo of charge dated April 13, 2017 but it reversed it after the final hearing. The judgement was passed on March 6, 2024. The petitioner's counsel Amit Kumar and Nilotpal Sharma, the counsel for the State, the respondent made their submissions.

The Court had to decide whether the department proceeding and criminal case on the same set of allegations can run simultaneously or not. The Court observed, "the position of law is very clear that criminal jurisprudence tests the ingredients of the action which constitute a crime beyond all reasonable doubts, whereas, the departmental proceeding tests the imputation of the work done by the employees against the employer in violation of terms of services in which employee has to work. Therefore, the event
may be same, but the test for criminal jurisprudence and service jurisprudence are distinct and varies from case to case."


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