Patna, Sept. 14: The central administrative tribunal has served notices on the chief secretary and home secretary in contempt proceedings regarding the denial of promotion to a Bihar-cadre IPS officer.
A bench, headed by Akhil Kumar Jain, issued the notices against the two senior bureaucrats yesterday asking them to reply within four weeks.
Amitabh Kumar Das, a 1994-batch IPS officer, moved the tribunal on September 10 this year after the government failed to comply with its earlier order recommending his promotion to the rank of deputy inspector-general (DIG).
Das is posted as the superintendent of rail police (SRP), Jamalpur, in Maoist-affected Munger district.
A division bench comprising Justice Akhil Kumar Jain and Justice Bidisha Banerjee, in its order issued in February this year, directed the state government to promote Das to the rank of DIG.
In his petition, Das had pleaded that while his batchmates were promoted to DIG rank in 2009, he was still waiting for the same. The division bench ordered the state to comply with its order within four months.
However, the government failed to obey the order of the court within the stipulated period, which ended in June 2012. Subsequently, Das filed a contempt of court.
Principal secretary of the home department Amir Subhani told The Telegraph: “I have not yet received any such order. Let me first go through the order of the court.”
He, however, clarified that the matter was sub-judice and it would not be wise to comment on the issue at this moment. The court earlier quashed departmental proceedings against Das citing a Government of India circular No 22011/04/91, Establishment (A) 14992 (department of personnel and training), which says: “If (departmental) proceedings against any officer are not concluded within two years, the officer is entitled to get promoted. The proceedings can’t go on and on.”
The proceedings were initiated against Das after a girl, Shabnam, daughter of a former DIG-rank officer, submitted a petition to senior police officers alleging that she was physically exploited by the IPS officer on the pretext of marriage. She, however, failed to produce substantial evidence before the top police officers. The police headquarters recommended departmental proceedings against Das describing it as a matter of moral turpitude.
The government notified S.P. Keshav, a 1974-batch IAS officer, as the conducting officer who submitted his report in January 2009 exonerating Das of the charges.
To Das’s surprise, he received a letter about 18 months after the report that departmental proceedings had been initiated against him once again as the government did not agree with the previous report.
A division bench comprising Justice Rekha Kumar (member, judicial) and Justice A.K. Jain (member, administration) quashed departmental proceedings initiated against the police officer for similar charges.
The court observed that the disciplinary authority had failed to form its independent opinion. “The remission of the matter for further inquiry is unjustified because it would amount to the second inquiry on the same set of charges resulting in abuse of the process,” it observed.
Das had pleaded before the tribunal that the government’s move to initiate departmental proceedings for the second time smelt of vendetta.
Das told the tribunal that chief minister Nitish Kumar held a personal grudge against him (Das) because he had sent a detailed report to the Union government in 2002 when the former was railway minister.
Das’s report hinted at an alleged political-criminal nexus in the award of railway contracts worth several crore. Das, who was then posted as the superintendent of railway police, Patna, had exposed the nexus and even recommended to the ministry to blacklist the firms and cancel the contracts awarded to railway mafia.