Double SC relief: Bihar IAS officer cleared of graft charges, shifted to Haryana
The Supreme Court judgment, which reconfirmed that IAS officer Jitendra Gupta was falsely implicated in a case of bribery, is a serious indictment of Bihar government.india Updated: May 10, 2017 17:39 IST
Bihar cadre IAS officer Jitendra Gupta was on Wednesday a relieved man.
The ordeal he had been facing for more than a year since his arrest in an alleged bribery case ended with the Supreme Court directing the department of personnel and training (DoPT) of the Union government to change his cadre.
“I am relieved. When people’s/officer’s dignity is not there, it becomes difficult to work. My social respect and dignity had taken a beating due to irresponsible and negligent act of state authorities. The Supreme Court order will help restore that,” the 2013 batch officer, who will now join the Haryana cadre, told HT on Wednesday.
The top court on Tuesday, while hearing the writ petition of the 2013 batch officer, ruled that his fundamental rights had been trampled upon and directed the Centre to transfer him to another state.
The SC judgment, which reconfirmed that the officer was falsely implicated in the case, is a serious indictment of Bihar government. Taking a serious note of the matter, the Supreme Court expressed displeasure over the administrative inaction on Gupta’s representation
The top court had last week upheld a Patna high court order exonerating him of all charges ruled that Gupta had been “framed”.
Gupta had filed the petition in April, saying his and his family’s fundamental rights had been brutally violated and he was facing extreme hardship, including threat to life in Bihar.
The officer had also written to the DoPT to transfer him to another cadre as he was “very much unsafe in the present cadre”. In his representation, Gupta elaborated how, upon state government’s direction, he had acted tough against the ‘entry mafia’. The mafia, in connivance with the vigilance department, implicated him in a false case, Gupta said, and demanded “exemplary monetary compensation” for damages and defamation, action against those who violated the law and his immediate cadre transfer.
“I was afraid of the entry mafia. The vigilance department was hand in glove with them,” Gupta, a native of Firozabad (UP), said.
The “entry mafia” had lodged a vigilance complaint against the young officer, alleging that he seized four trucks on July 3, 2016 and later demanded bribe for releasing them.
The IAS officer, who was then posted as subdivisional magistrate of Mohania in southwest Bihar, was wrongly implicated in a case of bribery and had to spend a month in jail.
After being released on bail, Gupta moved the Patna high court, stating that the FIR against him was fabricated. Subsequently, the high court quashed the FIR on October 28, 2016.
“In the HC, it was proved that the alleged seizure of trucks by me never actually happened. The prosecution also admitted this. They tried to change the story, which contradicted their own previous version and the truckers’ affidavits. This convinced the court that the FIR was false,” Gupta recalled.
The SC also ruled that Gupta was falsely implicated as demand, acceptance and recovery of bribe, which are the three essentials of a corruption case, were missing in his case, the IAS officer said.
Gupta, who has been working as officer on special duty, department of environment and forest, since his suspension was revoked in September 2016, was candid enough to say that “administrative atmosphere is not there to work once you are subjected to such types of humiliation.”
“But I am indebted to the people of Bihar and the IAS Association for standing behind me. People of the state are very good and affectionate. The association stood behind me from very beginning,” said Gupta, a holder of MBBS degree from Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi and MS (orthopedic) from Lady Harding Medical College, also in the national capital.