The Supreme Court has waived the price of Rs 50,000 imposed by way of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on IFS officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi, who has been pursuing prison fight for a CBI probe into multi-crore Haryana forestry rip-off unearthed by way of him all through his posting there, in 2005.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud stated;
“The cost imposed by the high court is made easy.”
The court docket’s order comes on an SLP moved by way of Chaturvedi in opposition to the February 7 order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court vide which he was once pressured with a price of Rs 50,000 to be paid to the Haryana wooded area division for in quest of two-month adjournment in a case instituted by way of the state executive difficult the Centre’s 2010 order through which a two-member inquiry committee was once shaped by way of the Ministry of Environment and Forest to appear into the allegations of corruption uneartherd by way of Chaturvedi.
Chaturvedi had sought a two-month adjournment to document a answer as he awaited positive paperwork but to be provided to him by way of the state, regardless of repeated requests.
On February 7, Justice PB Bajanthri of Punjab and Haryana High Court famous on Chaturvedi’s request for adjournment, “5th respondent (Chaturvedi) had ample time from 2014 when the writ petition was filed and notice was ordered to file reply statement. That apart he did not utter anything on 17.01.2018, 24.01.2018 and 29.01.2018 relating to filing of written statement. Therefore 5th respondent’s conduct is required to be taken note of for the purpose of entertaining adjournment for 2 months to file written statement when the matter was already heard on behalf of petitioner and further Union of India Counsel for some time. Request for adjournment is accepted in part. Two weeks’ time is granted to file reply statement subject to payment of the cost of Rs 50,000. Cost shall be paid to the Department of Forests, State of Haryana”.
The court docket has additionally sought to understand “if the Union of India can interfere in a disciplinary matter of a Member Service of a State in between initiation of disciplinary action till final order is passed in the disciplinary proceedings under the All India Service (Disciplinary and Appeal) Rules, 1969 (for short “Rules, 1969”) or now not?”
This pressured Chaturvedi to transport the Supreme Court by the use of SLP whilst additionally including that the prime court docket had erred in taking into consideration him a member of state products and services when All India Services is a topic of the Union List and the officials might be below the Centre regardless of the place they’re posted.
It is to be famous that the Haryana executive moved the prime court docket in 2014 whilst Chaturvedi’s plea for CBI probe into more than a few malpractices within the state’s wooded area division was once already pending ahead of the Supreme Court since 2012.
Chaturvedi maintained that the Haryana executive moved the prime court docket most effective to scuttle the adjudication by way of the Supreme Court and the state’s petition is “basically a proxy litigation on behalf of then Chief Minister, Haryana, BS Hooda and his OSD, then Forest Minister Kiran Chaudhary, then Principal Secretary (Forest) Keshani Anand Arora and their colleagues”.
With Chaturvedi arguing that the petitions are not anything however parallel lawsuits ahead of the apex court docket and the prime court docket, the Supreme Court additionally ordered on Monday that “… the high court shall take note of the similarity of the issue pending before this court after hearing all parties concerned”.
Genesis of the case
Chaturvedi had joined Indian Forest Service within the yr 2002.
While posted in Haryana, he unearthed and acted in opposition to a lot of forestry scams within the state involving many political bigwigs.
He was once chargesheeted for performing in opposition to large-scale unlawful felling of bushes mand poaching in Saraswati Wildlife Sanctuary. He was once suspended for a similar within the yr 2007 however the order of suspension got here to be revoked by way of the President in 2008.
In 2009, Chaturvedi uncovered a multi-crore faux plantation rip-off allegedly involving Hooda, Kiran Chaudhary and others the place crores of presidency cash was once siphoned away.
This, he stated, pissed off the Chief Minister and for blowing the lid off more than a few scams and malpractices, Chaturvedi was once rewarded with the establishment of penalty lawsuits by way of the Government of Haryana. However, on a illustration made by way of the IFS officer to the Cabinet Secretary, Union of India in August, 2010, a two-member enquiry committee was once constituted by way of Ministry of Environment & Forest (MoEF), which submitted its record in 2010 discovering the allegations in opposition to the State of Haryana, as true, and advisable CBI enquiry into doubtful function of positive highly-placed politicians and civil servants.
In 2011, the President handed any other order quashing the fee sheet in opposition to him.
The MoEF even favoured referring the problem to CVC for deciding the modalities of an investigation into the malpractices unearthed by way of Chaturvedi.
That isn’t all.
Even the CBI wrote to the CVC that the allegations levelled by way of the IFS officer in opposition to the Government of Haryana had been worthy of an unbiased probe.
In March 2012, the MoEF requested the state executive to factor a notification for CBI probe into the forestry rip-off however the similar was once rejected.
In August 2012, the Haryana executive issued any other fee sheet in opposition to Chaturvedi which additionally got here to be quashed by way of a Presidential order.
With the Haryana executive now not too all in favour of a CBI inquiry into the scams unearthed by way of Chaturvedi, the IFS officer moved the Supreme Court in September 2012 in quest of route to the CBI to take over the probe into the instances.
It is to be famous right here that after the case got here up ahead of the apex court docket in November 2013, it was once posted for February 2014 with an order that it can be disposed of at admission level.
However, the case was once now not indexed in 2014 and 2015 and was once in any case taken up in March 2016 after which in April 2017 when the Supreme Court indexed it for ultimate disposal in August 2017, most effective to be indexed over again for ultimate disposal on October 2017. The case remains to be pending ahead of the apex court docket, although.
In the period in-between, the Haryana executive moved the Punjab & Haryana High Court on February four, 2014, in quest of a declaration that the very charter of an enquiry committee which had advisable CBI inquiry long ago in 2010 was once extremely vires.
Haryana additionally challenged the Presidential orders handed publish the enquiry committee record through which Chartuvedi’s chargesheet was once quashed.
In doing so, it depended on a 2012 DoPT opinion to the PMO which opined that the MoEF’s transfer to represent an enquiry committee was once extremely vires since Chaturvedi was once posted below the state. This order was once given to at least one IFS officer MM Joshi in Haryana inside of 48 hours thru RTI software with out the similar being licensed by way of the Cabinet.
Chaturvedi says he was once pressured to document switch petition after the Haryana executive went again on its phrase ahead of the prime court docket that it was once mulling retreating the petition.
He stated the Haryana executive has challenged the very paperwork which he had relied upon in his petition ahead of the Supreme Court for CBI inquiry into the forestry rip-off.
In May 2016, Chaturvedi filed a brief answer within the prime court docket and the similar was once taken on report. On October 25, 2017, the prime court docket directed him to document a testimony and display that his memorial to the President in 2010 in opposition to the fee sheet was once thru correct channel as he was once then serving below the Haryana executive.
Memorial is the final lodge to be had to any aggrieved All India Services officer to immediately position the complaint ahead of the President, who has blanket powers to cross any order in line with subject material positioned ahead of him.
The further affidavit got here to be filed in November 2017 and was once taken on report. On November, 27, 2017, the prime court docket allowed his plea for summoning of data to end up his case which incorporated letters written by way of the enquiry committee to the Haryana executive, letter from MoEF to the Haryana executive in quest of its reaction on Chaturvedi’s memorial and in addition the answer of the state to the enquiry committee by which it was once authorised that Chaturvedi’s movements in case of Saraswati Wildlife Sanctuary had been a part of his responsibility.
He had additionally sought some document notings of the essential secretary (wooded area) approving his movements within the sanctuary case. He has additionally sought to understand the supply of communique of confidential DoPT opinion to the Government of Haryana.
Twice in January 2018, the topic was once adjourned.
On January 30, 2018, Chaturvedi made an software to the State for the paperwork that had been ordered by way of the court docket to be produced, to be passed over to him.
A reminder was once despatched on February 2.
On February five, he filed an software ahead of the prime court docket in quest of the adjournment of the topic to permit the state to supply him the paperwork which resulted within the prime court docket implementing a price on him.
Chaturvedi maintained that the prime court docket overpassed the truth that he had no instance to hunt an adjournment on previous dates and he had filed a initial reaction anyway.
Read the Order Here