No Departmental Inquiry Against Rape-Accused Pune Cop: MAT

No Departmental Inquiry Against Rape-Accused Pune Cop: MAT

Shaikh Abdul Rashid Pathan had filed an application before the tribunal to quash and set aside departmental proceedings initiated by the deputy commissioner of police

Pranali LotlikarUpdated: Saturday, June 22, 2024, 05:07 PM IST
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Representative Image | FPJ

The Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT) has set aside the departmental inquiry initiated against an assistant sub-inspector of the Haveli Police Station in Pune, who is already facing alleged rape charges before the criminal court. The MAT's orders came after the accused officer, in his plea, expressed his genuine risk of disclosing his defence before the inquiry, which would in turn prejudice him during the criminal trial.

Shaikh Abdul Rashid Pathan had filed an application before the tribunal to quash and set aside departmental proceedings initiated by the deputy commissioner of police. The application stated that Pathan was falsely implicated in an alleged rape case for which he was suspended from service since November 18, 2022, and has been arbitrarily kept under suspension to date. “If the departmental inquiry proceeds, then the applicant will have to disclose his defence which will be detrimental to his rights as an accused in the criminal trial. The allegations as well as the witnesses in the departmental inquiry and the criminal case are one and the same,” the application reads.

The MAT, while referring to one of the similar judgements that Pathan had cited, said, “If an individual is alleged to have committed a crime punishable under the penal laws, it is the state which prosecutes him/her. It is invariably the state machinery that comes into play and it conducts proceedings as the prosecutor. After all, it has been held by the Supreme Court that each case has to depend on its own peculiar facts and that no straightjacket formula is applicable to any case.”

The MAT thus held, “The facts of the case show that the complainant is the same in both the departmental inquiry and the criminal case. It is not the position that in each and every case where the police officer is charged with the offence of rape, the departmental inquiry is to be stayed or the departmental inquiry to proceed. After going through the nature of the complaint in the present case, we find it is better and in the interest of the delinquent officer to face the criminal trial, and till then the departmental inquiry is stayed.”

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