The division bench consisting of Justices Sheel Nagu and M.S. Bhatti of the Madhya Pradesh High Court recently upheld its decision of not interfering with the order passed by the Disciplinary Authority, directing compulsory retirement of a court reader as punishment for taking a bribe of Rs.10.

This order came in the writ petition filed by the petitioner seeking the direction of the Court to quash the impugned orders of his punishment and for issuance of a Writ in the nature of Mandamus commanding the respondents to pay the petitioner arrears of salary for the period of suspension.

The facts of the case were that Petitioner while working as a Reader in the Court of Judicial Magistrate First Class, Jabalpur, was caught red-handed in a trap case, by the Vigilance Authority of the court, accepting a bribe of Rs.10/- from the complainant.

The purpose of taking the bribe was to adjourn the case of the complainant which was pending in the concerned court. Resultantly, in accordance with the procedure laid down in Madhya Pradesh Civil Services (Classification Control and Appeal) Rules 1966, an inquiry was initiated in which three charges were leveled against him.

The Disciplinary Authority held him guilty of all three charges and ordered his compulsory retirement. The Appellate Authority also upheld the punishment. The Petitioner then filed a Review Petition with the Court, in which he was exonerated of two charges but the bribery charge of Rs. 10 was upheld, and thus his punishment was not altered.
The Petitioner asserted that he was being made a scapegoat by the Complainant and also that there was no evidence against him to establish his guilt. He then claimed that no trap could have been set by the employer because such authority is solely vested in the Lokayukta.

The Court concluded- in our considered view, there was ample evidence against the petitioner and that the petitioner’s submission is ill-founded.

Blog By: Shimona Singh Kulhara

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