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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

Missing contraband: home dept wants FSL dir chargesheeted

Bhartesh Singh Thakur, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, October 20, 2013
First Published: 11:09 IST(20/10/2013) | Last Updated: 11:11 IST(20/10/2013)

The Haryana government has finally decided to take action against Satish Kumar Sangwan, director, Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Madhuban (Karnal), in the missing contraband case in Panchkula district.

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HT had earlier highlighted in its report on August 14 how the Haryana government had been sitting over departmental action against Sangwan even after indictment in a police inquiry regarding missing brown sugar packets in Panchkula.

However, in a letter dispatched on October 15, additional chief secretary, home department, has written to the DGP Haryana, to issue a chargesheet against Sangwan under Rule 7 of the Civil Service Rules, which invites punishment such as stopping of increment permanently, reversion and even dismissal.

“It is intimated that theft/loss of contraband heroine from official custody is a serious matter. The court has been very thorough in its investigations. The investigation report of the official nominated by the court and by the IG police (Mohd Akil) have found laxity in the FSL,” reads the letter.

It added that the number of years had lapsed but “action on the investigation ordered by the court has not been taken.”

When contacted, Sangwan said that he had no knowledge about any chargesheet.

THE CASE
In the case of missing two packets of brown sugar seized from a Nigerian in 2001, weighing 100 gm each, a special court of JR Chauhan in Panchkula remarked in his judgment in the State vs Shiv Kumar on February 23, 2007, that there might be a possibility that tampering took place when “the custody of parcels remained with SK Sangwan”.

The parcels containing brown sugar packets were opened on May 19, 2003, and Chauhan’s j udgment mentioned that Sangwan was the branch incharge and was keeping the keys of the almirah where the parcels were kept.

In another judgment dated May 21, 2009, State vs Babu Ram, the special court of Sanjeev Jindal asked the then SP Panchkula to conduct an investigation into the involvement of SK Sangwan, who was then assistant director, and Kiran Kumar, who was senior scientific officer at that time, in the case of missing two packets of brown sugar and to prosecute them if found guilty.

In the judgment, the judge remarked that since it was established that “Sangwan was the relative of the then superintendent of police, CID (crime), Madhuban, Raj Pal Singh”, it becomes understandable as to why he and Kiran Kumar were not subjected to any inquiry or police investigations despite the fact that a “strong needle of suspicion was pointing at their guilt…”

The state government went for an appeal against the order but Justice Daya Chaudhary and Justice Jasbir Singh, in their judgment dated October 27, 2009, said the state government had no “locus standi” to challenge the inquiry against Sangwan and Kiran Kumar.

An inquiry was conducted by the then DSP Smriti Chaudhary of Panchkula, which was submitted on February 8, 2010. She “recommended that the director, FSL, Madhuban, may proceed with the departmental action against the officials responsible for the negligence”.

But Krishna Mohan, then financial commissioner and principal secretary, Home department, by an order dated June 2, 2010, promoted Sangwan as director, FSL, subject to “pending inquiry” against him.

However, by that time, the inquiry by DSP Smriti Chaudhary was already over against him.

Taking up the case of missing brown sugar packets, the court of additional district and sessions judge Sanjay Sandhir had on January 30 this year directed DCP Panchkula to proceed further in the inquiry conducted by then DSP Smriti Chaudhary.

After this, the case was forwarded to the Home secretary by DGP Haryana for approving action against Sangwan.

The promotion order of Sangwan dated June 2, 2010, could be revoked now.

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