SC pulls up govt for failure to act against officers

SC pulls up govt for failure to act against officers

Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court on Monday pulled up the Karnataka government for failing to act against the officers responsible for “fraud” and “over 10 years delay” in challenging the orders passed in a civil suit.

A bench of Justices N V Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari expressed gross dissatisfaction over the response filed by the state government represented by senior advocate Devadatt Kamat stating that it would refer the matter to the chief secretary.

“Is it not your duty to investigate if officers had colluded? There was four years’ delay (in filing the appeal in High Court) and almost five years here. Did you issue the show-cause notice to the officers responsible for it,” the bench asked the counsel.

“For 10 years, the fraud had taken place, you have done nothing. If 10 years is not enough for you to act, we will now take action against you,” the bench warned. The bench said it would call the chief secretary to be present to explain.

On a request by Kamat that he would himself ensure that adequate response, the court directed that the secretary concerned appear before it on November 4.

It directed the officer to bring record to “show the bona fide in initiating the disciplinary proceedings against the officers who have colluded with the beneficiaries and committed fraud.”

The matter related to the suit in in Bidar’s Humnabad taluk. The Karnataka HC’s single judge and division bench had on July 10 and November 28, 2012 respectively dismissed the plea by the deputy commissioner against the order passed by the district court, saying no explanation has been given for delay of over four years.  The top court had first on July 3, 2019 asked the state government to tell what action was taken against the officers, on appeal against the HC’s orders.