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HC refuses to hear Hry govt's plea to quash Central report on whistle-blower IFS officer


Press Trust of India Chandigarh
The high court has refused to hear Haryana government's plea seeking quashing of a 2010 Central report, which had dismissed the state's charges against whistle-blower IFS officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi, saying it has no jurisdiction to decide on it.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court said the matter is essentially between the Union government and the state.
During his deputation in Haryana from 2005 to 2010, Chaturvedi claimed to have unearthed a multi-crore scam in the state's forestry programme. The previous Bhupinder Singh Hooda dispensation launched departmental proceedings against him, leading to the filing of a charge sheet in 2007.
Chaturvedi then made a representation to the then Union Cabinet Secretary, following which the Centre constituted a two-member inquiry committee in August 2010 to ascertain the veracity of the Hooda government's charges against him.
The committee concluded the charges against the Magsaysay-award winner were not correct. It also recommended a CBI probe against senior Haryana government functionaries.
In March 2014, the Hooda government approached the high court for quashing of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests' inquiry report. The next Manohar Lal Khattar government pursued the petition before the court.
"Supreme Court is already seized of similar controversy vide a writ petition...wherein, in my view, prima facie though, issues involved are similar and are directly related to the ones raised in the writ petition filed before this court," Justice Arun Monga of the Punjab nd Haryana High Court said in his order released on Wednesday without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case.
The judge said the state's writ petition is held to be not maintainable before the high court and the state government is at liberty to take any other appropriate action.
In January 2011, based on the inquiry committee report, a presidential order was issued to quash the state government charge sheet against him.
The Haryana government had, however, contended that the MoEF constituted the committee outside its administrative scope and filed a case in the high court, seeking the quashing of the panel's report.
In November 2012, Chaturvedi approached the Supreme Court praying for a CBI probe as recommended by the MoEF committee.

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First Published: Aug 29 2019 | 7:25 PM IST

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