HC rejects plea of ex-law officer of CBI against dept action

The Delhi High Court has rejected the plea of a former law officer of the CBI seeking quashing of the memorandum of charge sheet served on him following a departmental inquiry into allegations that he took bribes for helping accused, being investigated by the probe agency.

A bench of Justices B D Ahmed and V K Jain also rejected the plea of Rajendra Prasad Dwivedi, Deputy Legal Advisor of CBI who later took voluntary retirement, that a valid sanction was not taken to initiate departmental proceedings against him.

"The writ petition is devoid of any merit and is hereby dismissed without any order as to costs," the court said upholding the decision of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) by which the plea of Dwivedi was rejected.

"In view of the verification by the Tribunal from the file, we cannot accept the contention that the charge sheet served upon the petitioner (Dwivedi) did not have approval of the Competent Authority....

"If the draft charge sheet is approved by the Competent Authority, the memorandum of chargesheet can be signed by a subordinate officer pursuant to the approval granted by the Competent Authority....," the court said.

The CBI took the approval of the Prime Minister's office for initiating departmental proceedings against Dwivedi who also opted for the voluntary retirement in March 2010.

It was alleged that Dwivedi used to take money from the accused for helping them in getting relief.

"In 2005, he (Dwivedi) helped one Vijay Nanalal Seth, charged for cheating and forgery along with the Prevention of Corruption Act, in getting bail at the cost of Rs two lakh," the CBI, which filed the memorandum of charge sheet against him in July, 2010, said.

Besides seeking quashing the charge sheet, Dwivedi also sought reversal of the Tribunal's order which had said that he would not be entitled to payment of gratuity, till finalisation of the disciplinary proceedings against him.

"A perusal of the impugned order would show that the respondents (CBI) produced two files before the Tribunal for its perusal, one in which the notice of the petitioner seeking voluntary retirement from the service was processed and the other in which the proposal for initiation of disciplinary proceedings for major penalty against the petitioner was approved by the Prime Minister, who was the Competent Authority.

"Once the draft charge-sheet was approved by the Competent Authority, it was not necessary that memo of charge sheet should be signed by the Competent Authority himself or the Charge Memo should again be submitted to him for approval," the bench said.

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