Dismissed IPS officer wins case against govt
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has come to the rescue of a ‘distinguished’ IPS officer working with the Intelligence Bureau who was dismissed from service for trying to leave the country without proper permission from the government in July 2006.delhi Updated: Feb 15, 2010 00:45 IST
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has come to the rescue of a ‘distinguished’ IPS officer working with the Intelligence Bureau who was dismissed from service for trying to leave the country without proper permission from the government in July 2006.
Terming the September 17, 2009 order dismissing Francis John Arahna from service as “wholly illegal”, a bench headed by CAT Chairman Justice V.K. Bali ordered the government to accept his request for premature retirement from the date of his dismissal.
The bench revoked Arahna’s suspension that was in force since July 2006 till his dismissal and also ordered the government to work out his salary and allowances and make the payments within a month.
It said the IPS officer would be entitled to all his post-retiral dues, which shall be calculated and paid to him within one month from February 2, 2010 when the order was passed.
Saying “irreparable damage” had been caused to Arahna due to arbitrary action of the government, the bench asked it to pay him Rs 1 lakh as cost of litigation. He would also be at liberty “to sue the government for damages he might have actually suffered...”, it added.
“The applicant (Arahna), in our view, is a victim at the hands of the respondents, who actuated on legal malice, arbitrariness and bias…,” it said.
The CAT was “baffled” by the Union Public Service Commission mentioning certain misconduct in its advice to the government, which was never the case of the Ministry of Home Affairs against the IPS officer.
It all began in June 2006, when Arahna — a 1984 batch IPS officer belonging to Maharashtra Cadre — returned from a foreign assignment in the U.S. and sought voluntary retirement on June 20, 2006. His sons were studying in the US.
Prior to his foreign deputation with the MEA, he was posted as Deputy Director of VIP Security division in the IB and was responsible for security of the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister as also foreign dignitaries visiting India.
He was also credited with the drafting of a security document on Parliament House, which was described by the then Deputy Prime Minister as a “prophetic report”.
On July 11, 2006, while leaving for the U.S.A. along with his wife and children, he was stopped at the Delhi Airport.
He was suspended from service on July 27, 2006 on the ground that he was trying to visit a foreign country on G-4 category visa from the U.S. government, which is issued to officers and employees of international organisations and their immediate family members, without permission from a competent authority.
The government tried to justify his suspension and later dismissal on the ground that he had deserted his duties. But the CAT said: “the delinquency or misconduct of not seeking permission to go abroad, …cannot touch upon maintenance of absolute integrity or devotion to duty.