The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday dismissed former Punjab agriculture director Mangal Singh Sandhu’s petition challenging his retirement order.
Sandhu, who was in thick of controversy last year over alleged involvement in pesticide scam, was to complete his extension period on April 30, was issued retirement orders by the government on March 31.
Alleging mala fide on the part of government in retiring him, Sandhu had stated in his petition that the impugned order whereby the extension of tenure was stopped untimely was “illegal and arbitrary” and that it was issued without any show-cause notice being sent to him. The detailed order is awaited.
However, the court while dismissing the plea observed that his extended tenure was anyway about to be over on April 30.
Sandhu had demanded his re-instatement till the date of his retirement --- on April 30 --- and had objected to government referring to him as working on the post of joint director agriculture whereas he was “officiating” as director since 2011.
He had accused government of “discrimination” as he claimed that other co-accused in the FIR in pesticide scam were being allowed to officiate in their respective posts without any hurdle.
Sandhu was booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act. He is accused of bribing officials of the agriculture department to store spurious pesticides and sell the same to the public. The FIR was registered in Bathinda on September 2.