Delhi HC favors CBI DSP who probed Asthana, upholds CAT order

Delhi HC - law insider

Snehal Upadhyay-

Published on : September 11, 2021 at 11:54 IST

Delhi High Court upheld the decision of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) of quashing charges which were issued on Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officer Ajay Kumar Bassi for moving to the Supreme Court challenging his transfer to Port Blair without obtaining the sanction from the Government.

Bassi was a DSP and an investigating officer in a case against former CBI Special Director and current Commissioner of Delhi Police Rakesh Asthana alleging corruption charges.

Bassi while investigating the case was transferred to Port Blair by interim CBI Chief Nageswara Rao in 2018.

In 2020 Asthana was given a clean chit in the case.

The Division Bench comprising Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh observed that it was a case of transfer and Bassi approached the Apex Court to raise a grievance about it.

“Everyday transfers are challenged and who goes to the authority first and why should he go? We are talking about misconduct which has to be in the light of the rules. Please show us what the rule is. If there is no rule, where is the misconduct” the Court further said.

The Court probed the Rule 19 (1) of Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964 against Bassi and contended that the circumstances under which the rule would be applied are not present in the case.

According to the rule, “No Government servant shall, except with the previous sanction of the Government, have recourse to any Court or to the Press for the vindication of any official act which has been the subject-matter of adverse criticism or an attack of a defamatory character.”

“This is where he is subjected to this kind of adverse criticism and he wants to vindicate an official act of his. Please read and understand the rule at least. Supposing this person was to make an allegation against the person who has transferred him, then that officer would be entitled to this rule. How are you subjecting him (Bassi) to this? He has only challenged his transfer,” the Court told the CBI counsel.

The CBI had contended that Bassi said himself to be an indisciplined member of a government department and the CAT had dismissed the charge in a summary order.

CAT affirmed the claim that Bassi didn’t report to the CBI office in Port Blair but then quashed the issued charges against him when he approached the Supreme Court.

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