Sacked IPS officer sees hope in Rajasthan HC order

Last Updated: Sat, Mar 16, 2019 23:20 hrs

Jaipur, March 16 (IANS) Former Rajasthan cadre IPS officer Pankaj Chaudhary, dismissed earlier this month from the service for alleged extra-marital affair, has exuded confidence that he shall make a comeback while referring to a Rajasthan High Court order, issued on Friday.

A single-judge Bench of the court has ruled that extra-marital affairs can't be the ground for action against a government official.

The court was hearing a petition, filed by two police personnel who were suspended in March 2001 for alleged extra-marital affairs.

The case is similar to that of Chaudhary who was terminated on the grounds of marrying second time without getting divorce from first wife.

Speaking to IANS, Chaudhary said: "This case has come as a breather for me as it shares the same grounds as mine. In fact, there are many such cases where the court has pronounced similar orders. Therefore, I am fighting my case with full confidence.

"My case doesn't violate either the Indian Penal Code or any other civil laws. On May 1, 2018, I was granted divorce and on July 14, 2018 I entered into wedlock for the second time in Varanasi following all government norms. But the previous government kept this report hidden and forwarded my matter to the higher authorities."

Chaudhary said, in 2015 he had told the court the government was biased against him and could issue a charge sheet over his relationship with a woman. On that "the high court assured me that I am assuming things and it shall give relief if any such thing happens," he said.

Chaudhary said: "In February 2016, the government called a press conference and in April issued a charge sheet. When they appointed an investigating officer, I wrote to the government that the IO should be trustworthy.

The IAS officer appointed the IO had been suspended several times in seven cases of corruption and was under the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe, he alleged.

"Further, I stated my matter related to family dispute and was sub judice in the Varanasi and Allahabad courts. Hence, neither the police nor the state can act suo motto as it was under the double Bench.

"However, the state government acted in a hurry and issued the charge sheet in 2016. A report was made, which said Chaudhary did not marry for the second time but there were possibilities of him staying with another woman. The word 'possibility' was used as the government was not clear in its approach," Chaudhary added.

Soon after his termination, Chaudhary challenged the dismissal at the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) that he was been terminated with malafide intentions.

"As this case is similar to that of mine, I am confident that I will come back," he said referring to the case in which Justice Sanjeev Prakash Sharma on Friday ruled: "An act of relationship entered by an individual with another female or male, as the case may be, while his/her spouse is alive, would be an act amounting to adultery and would be considered as an immoral act so far as the Indian society is concerned.

"The same would, however, not be a ground for initiating department proceedings by the employer and it be best left for the person who may be affected individually to take remedy and proceed against him/her in civil law or for initiating divorce proceedings."