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Official’s suspension for 22 years | CAT dismayed, directs administrator GMC Srinagar to remain present with records

02:45 AM Apr 28, 2024 IST | D A RASHID
official’s suspension for 22 years   cat dismayed  directs administrator gmc srinagar to remain present with records
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Srinagar, Apr 27: The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in Srinagar expressed its dismay over the delay in keeping an official of the Health and Medical Education (H&ME) Department suspended for 22 years, saying the period of suspension must be “bare minimal”.

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Hearing a plea by one, Muhammad Younis Mir, who has petitioned against his suspension, a bench of a bench of Judicial Member, M S Latif, directed the Administrator of Government Medical College (GMC), Srinagar to remain on May 24 present before the court with all records about the case.

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Mir, through his counsel, submitted that he had been under suspension continually for more than 22 years now, since 2003, despite his acquittal by the competent court in the criminal proceedings which were initiated against him.

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The counsel submitted that continuous suspension was a punishment to which he referred to judgments of the Supreme Court besides verdicts of the High Court of J&K and Ladakh.

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“This court is at pains to have come across the casual and ordinary approach of the respondents in dealing with the order of the suspension of the petitioner that too in violation to the law laid down by the Supreme Court and by various High Courts, wherein their lordships have held that the period of suspension must be bare minimal,” the tribunal said.

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It observed that the matter pertains to the year 2020 and was earlier filed before the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir.

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“Notices were issued upon the respondents vide order dated May 2, 2020,” it said.

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On the transfer of the petition to it, the tribunal said, Deputy Advocate General Bikram Deep Singh appeared on January 31, 2022, and sought four weeks to file the response.

“Then again vide order dated September 29, 2022, the matter was posted for filing reply. On December 23, 2022, yet again reply was not filed. Then vide order dated August 29, 2023, four weeks was again granted to the respondents to file the reply,” the tribunal said.

“Protracted periods of suspension have regrettably become the norm and not an exception, as they ought to be. The suspended person suffering, the ignominy of insinuations, the scorn of society and the derision of his department has to endure this excruciation even before he is formally charged with some misdemeanour,” the tribunal said.

It observed that the constitution bench of the Apex Court has in the celebrated judgment of Kartar Singh versus State of Punjab 1994 Vol 3 SCC P “unequivocally construed the right of speedy trial as a fundamental right”.

In response to the submission by Bikram Deep Singh, DAG, that he would like to file his short response, the court said ordinarily it was not inclined to grant them (authorities) time in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case.

“However, considering the submission of the DAG, three weeks as a mercy chance is granted to file their response,” it said. “In peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, it is also directed that the Administrator of Principal Government Medical College (GMC), Srinagar, in the first instance, will be present before this court along with all the records about the case of the petitioner, to assist this court to reach a just and lawful conclusion, which will not only uphold the rule of law but will also aid in upholding the command of the apex court as laid down in the titled as Ajay Kumar Chaudhary versus Union of India and others.”

The court said that the presence of the official was sought in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case.

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