Delhi High Court upholds CAT order overturning Rajasthan government dismissal of IPS officer on bigamy charges



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The Delhi High Court upheld an order from the Central Administrative Court in which the court observed that the government of Rajasthan wrongly dismissed an IPS officer from the service while considering the then ongoing divorce case in which the agent was allegedly involved with another woman out of wedlock and also allegedly has an illegitimate child.

The Divisional Chamber of Judge Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Judge Amit Bansal observed,

“If the CAT found out that the misconduct was a matter of a public servant’s privacy and that such misconduct in privacy, while violating ethical standards, would not affect the general public or become a problem so as to disturb the peace and harmony in the accommodation of his servants, and did not disturb the image of the service and that the official concerned finally settled the matter to the satisfaction of the aggrieved private party, this Court no. would not normally intervene.

The petition was filed by the government of Rajasthan challenging the CAT order quashing the IPS agent’s punishment order. The sanction order was issued following the accusation against him that after his marriage he began to live with another woman and also had a son with the said other woman.

Senior Counsel Manish Singhvi, representing the Government of Rajasthan, said: “The sentence imposed on Respondent No. 1 in this case, of dismissal from office, for contracting a second marriage during the duration of his marriage prior, while in an elite service as IPS, cannot be considered disproportionate to the point of shocking the conscience of this Court.

However, the officer’s lawyer argued that the first wife was never interested in living with him and instead wanted to marry someone else and also made an affidavit in this regard.

Whereas, the bench noted, “ethical standards have changed over the past half century when the All India Services (Conduct) rules were developed and said rules, like the law, are to be viewed as a living organism, the meaning and meaning of which changes with changes in society’s behavior.

It was the Court’s contention that what might be unethical in 1968 is not necessarily unethical today or not necessarily unethical of such severity as to in 1968 the society changed with a lot of family matters, which previously were a matter of public debate, being now confined to the private realm, the concept, definition and standards of morality also changed, with the changes of appearance, dress, language etc., behavior that shocked 50 years ago is now considered normal or at best an aberration.

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The magistracy, while upholding the order of the CAT, noted that “the CAT is correct to this extent, that the Disciplinary Authority did not take into account the effect of the divorce having finally been pronounced between the respondent n ° 1 and his wife and which divorce was by way of settlement; so it is not as if Respondent # 1’s first wife is left with any grievance whatsoever.

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