The Himachal High Court , on Friday, declined interim relief to for mer DGP (presently DG , Home Guard) ID Bhandari and directed him to file a reply to the memorandum issued to him for invading the privacy of chief minister Virbhadra Singh, the then union minister for steel.
The state government, on April 17, had initiated departmental proceedings against the petitioner by issuing a memorandum with the direction to file a reply within ten days, failing which ex parte proceedings would be initiated against him.
The division bench, comprising Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Dhar ma Chand Chaudhary, dismissed the interim application wherein the petitioner had prayed for staying the operation of the memorandum issued by the state government.
The court, however, issued a notice to the state and central governments for filing a reply to the main petition in two weeks.
The memorandum issued by the state gover nment had levelled two charges against the petitioner. As per one charge, the petitioner, being ADGP, CID, had from January 2008 to August 2012 got implanted a bugging device (micro recorder) in the room where Virbhadra Singh was to stay at Himachal Bhawan, Chandigarh, in September 2010 with the intention to breach privacy.
The second charge related to the directions given by the petitioner to a police officer Mukesh Kumar to depute two officials of CID to visit Chandigarh for placing the bugging device in the room. It was alle ged that after getting the recording placed in the computer, t he petitioner recorded the data in a pen drive and also directed t he police officers to delete recording from the computer. The state claimed that the two charges reflected that the petitioner had failed to maintain discipline to duty and acted in a manner of unbecoming of a responsible officer. The court, however, was of the view that t he petitioner has failed to make out any prima facie case to suspend the operation of the memorandum.