On a public interest litigation (PIL) regarding files of Punjab's IAS and PCS officers missing from the secretariat, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday directed the secretary, personnel, Punjab, to immediately supply requisite information to the investigation officer (IO) of the Chandigarh Police.
In pursuance to the directions issued by the HC bench comprising acting chief justice Jasbir Singh and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain, the IO, Ashish Kapoor, deputy superintendent of police (DSP, central), Chandigarh Police, submitted a reply before the high court in response to the PIL filed by advocate HC Arora.
In his reply, Kapoor stated that after the registration of an FIR on March 8, statements of four employees of the Punjab secretariat were recorded. He said movement registers pertaining to the missing files were taken into possession by him. However, the registers did not have signatures of recipients of files.
In response to a query sent by the IO, the secretary, personnel, stated that there was no practice of obtaining signatures of officers while handing over files to them. The investigation into the matter is still going on. On receiving the DSP's reply, the petitioner, HC Arora, submitted before the bench that instructions needed to be issued to the Punjab government to supply whatever information was required by the IO.
The counsel for the Chandigarh administration said the Punjab government was not coming forward to furnish requisite information to the IO. To this, the high court directed the IO to seek whatever information was required by sending a written communication to the secretary, personnel.
The bench also directed the secretary, personnel, to immediately supply information required by the IO. "Any laxity on the part of the personnel department will be taken very seriously," the bench observed.
Adjourning the PIL for further hearing to May 28, the high court directed the IO to submit his status report regarding the inquiry on that date.