Taking a serious note of the disregard for court proceedings by repeatedly filing false affidavits “to obstruct the course of justice”, the Punjab and Haryana high court has sentenced Amarjit Paul, additional deputy commissioner (ADC) of Nawanshahr, to one month’s imprisonment and also slapped a fine of Rs 1 lakh on him.
The orders came from the court headed by justice Mahesh Grover on a petition filed by one Dr Simmi who had made a claim for appointment to the post of rural medical officer. She was at number three in the waiting list of the appointments made in 2011-12.
The court, in its order dated September 2, had observed that Paul had earlier filed an affidavit where it had been conceded that three posts were lying vacant for general category candidates for which a recommendation had been made to fill up the posts and the petitioner was one of the recommended candidates. But since the petitioner was not appointed she had approached the court. Later, Paul informed the court that only one vacancy was there as the appointed candidate had abandoned her assignment. But the officer failed to explain the process how other two vacancies were filled without considering the petitioner.
The court observed, “To a pointed query by this court, he (Paul) has only stated that these posts were filled up in 2011. Strangely, the material on record would indicate that on May 7, 2012 this very officer writes that three posts are vacant and the waiting list would have to be exhausted.”
Justice Grover said, “Now if the previous orders of the court are seen, opportunity was given to the officer to clarify the various divergent stands being reflected in the earlier affidavits,” observed justice Grover.
The court had on the earlier date of hearing imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 upon the officer for wasting the court’s time by filing an affidavit which was not in conformity with law. “Instead of learning from the previous orders passed by this court, he has chosen to show utter disregard to the process of law,” justice Grover said.
The judge ordered, “The court thus sentences him to one-month simple imprisonment with costs of Rs 1 lakh which will be deposited by him before the mediation and conciliation centre of the court within 15 days.”
However, later, accepting Paul’s request for the suspension of the sentence so as to avail an opportunity for filing an appeal against the order, justice Grover ordered, “The sentence of imprisonment is suspended for two weeks but the costs component will be satisfied within a week.”