HC junks PIL seeking CBI to verify location of IIVR

Last Updated 27 December 2019, 13:13 IST

The Delhi High Court has dismissed a PIL seeking directions to the CBI to ascertain the correct geographical location of the Indian Institute of Vegetable Research (IIVR), saying it would not be fit to direct such a busy probe agency to perform such a task.

The petitioner, who had retired from the institute, had alleged that some IIVR employees were drawing a higher amount of HRA by showing the institute to be located in Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh, while according to him it was in Mirzapur, where the HRA payable would be much lower.

The petition had sought directions to the CBI to find out the institute's exact location in order to recover the excess HRA allegedly illegally paid to the employees.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar declined to entertain the plea saying "we see no reason to give any directions for a CBI enquiry."

"In our view, it is not fit to direct a busy institution like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to inquire about the geographical location of the Institute in question. Petitioner can always raise a dispute about the facts and the same can be settled by laying cogent and convincing evidence before a trial court," it said.

The bench also noted that the petitioner had also moved a plea in the high court earlier, alleging corruption in IIVR on the ground that excess HRA was being drawn by some employees, and had sought the institute's location to be determined.

The HC had in March 2018 directed the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR)- under which IIVR functions, to look into the matter and pass a speaking order which would be furnished to the petitioner as well.

Subsequently, in April 2019, ICAR passed an order in which it said that IIVR was located in Varanasi and the same was also communicated to the petitioner who did not agree with the finding and again moved the high court seeking directions to CBI to investigate about the location of the institute in question.

Declining to entertain the plea, the high court said: "We see no reason to exercise our extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. There is no substance in this writ petition and the same is hereby dismissed."

(Published 27 December 2019, 09:43 IST)

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