The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the government to immediately reinstate a 1999-batch Indian Foreign Services officer sacked from service in 2002 on the grounds of moral turpitude and stalking a “woman friend.”
A bench, headed by Justice Altamas Kabir, said the government should give consequential benefits like appropriate posting and promotion to the officer, Mahavir C. Singvi. It also imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on the Centre.
The court dismissed Union of India’s appeal, challenging August 2008 Delhi High Court verdict slamming the Centre for cutting short Singvi’s “promising career” and “making one-sided assessments”.
Singvi secured the 39th rank in the 1998 civil services exam. In the initial part of his service, he was declared an outstanding officer.
Singvi had contended he was removed after then External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh, took note of a complaint filed against him by a female friend’s mother. The complainant had alleged Singvi declined to marry her daughter. She claimed the two were friends and accused him of harassing her daughter.
Singvi’s lawyer, senior counsel Jayant Bhushan said: “SC has also upheld no probationary officer can be removed without proper inquiry on the ground of misconduct involving moral turpitude of a serious nature.”
Action was taken against Singvi as he opposed the ministry’s decision to deny him the option of German language, disregarding his seniority, Bhushan said.