Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Delhi high court says corrupt central servants can be punished after retirement

Delhi high court says corrupt central servants can be punished after retirement

8 sep 2010

Sending out a clear message to the corrupt, the Delhi high court (HC) ruled on Tuesday that tainted government officials cannot escape punishment even after retirement.

HC said corruption should be accountable at all stages and officials involved should face the consequences.

A division bench of justices Pradeep Nandrajog and MC Garg upheld the Centre’s decision to deduct 50% of pension of HL Gulati, who retired as a senior accounts officer in the ministry of defence.

“The charges proved against the respondent [Gulati] go to show that his conduct tantamounts to unlawful behavior by a public servant in relation to his duties willfully. Thus, he is certainly guilty of committing misconduct in office. Looking at the amount involved, it can certainly be said to be a case of grave misconduct,” the judges said.

HC was hearing the Centre’s plea against a central administrative tribunal order quashing its decision of deducting Gulati’s pension. “The order passed by the tribunal is not sustainable in law,” HC said.

Gulati authorised payment against 36 fraudulent claims to the tune of Rs42.24 lakh approximately, Jyoti Singh, counsel for the government, argued.

“Acts of moral turpitude, of dishonesty, bribery and corruption would obviously be an aggravated form of misconduct, not only because of their morally depraving nature but even the reason that they would be attracting penal laws. Failure to maintain devotion to duty would be like fireman sleeping in the fire office and not responding to an emergency call, ultimately resulting in the death of 10 persons,” HC observed.

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