Criminal Trident Pack: IPC, CrPC and IEA by Sr. Adv. G.S Shukla and Adv. Raghav Arora
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  • The Delhi High Court has noted that permitting Disciplinary Proceedings to go on indefinitely would not only be extremely harmful to the individual involved, but also harmful to the Rule of Law. 
  • Cross-petitioners filed by one Anish Gupta against the Union of India were being heard by a division bench made up of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Anoop Kumar Mendiratta. 
  • When Gupta was suspended in August 2013, he was working as an Officer on Special Duty (Legal at the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs). A Departmental Charge Sheet/Memorandum of Charge was delivered to him in response to an incident that occurred in July 2013. Admittedly, he has never been the subject of a criminal inquiry or prosecution.
  • The Petitioner subsequently filed a CAT petition, asking for the Charge Sheet to be dismissed. 
  • The Union of India was given four months by CAT in May 2016 to conclude the Disciplinary Proceedings resulting from the relevant Charge Sheet. Since the Union of India disregarded the aforementioned instructions, the Petitioner once more petitioned CAT in an effort to get the Charge Sheet closed. 
  • It is true that the Union of India did not submit a request for a deadline extension. Before the CAT and the Petitioner were both subjected to Disciplinary Proceedings, the aforementioned case was unresolved for approximately four years.
  • Nevertheless, the Union of India was given a further six-month extension by CAT in December 2020 to finish the procedures, with the Petitioner free to seek the Tribunal if necessary.
  • In July 2021, the Petitioner's request for the Charge Sheet to be closed was approved by the CAT, but the Union's request for an additional time extension was denied. 
  • The Union of India filed a petition before the High Court in the interim, and it also opposed the application still pending before the Tribunal on the basis of the challenge still pending before the High Court. After that, the Petitioner withdrew his request to approach the High Court. 
  • It further stated that the Union could not simply decide not to follow the CVC circular without providing compelling and tenable reasons, as this would not only constitute improperly capricious and arbitrary behaviour on the part of the Respondent but also render the circular null and void rather than merely being a directory as claimed.
  • The Court further stated that the Respondent has not submitted any applications for extensions of time on any genuine meritorious grounds relevant to the Petitioner's case prior to the expiration of the extension granted by the CAT in 2020. 
  • As a result, the Court rejected the Union of India's argument and granted Gupta's appeal, adding that the Departmental Charge Sheet's related hearings will be adjourned.
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