IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL No. 1912 OF 2015
(Arising out of SLP © No. 31761 of 2013
AJAY KUMAR CHOUDHARY .….. APPELLANT
UNION OF INDIA THROUGH ITS. .…..RESPONDENTS
SECRETARY & ANR.
The Appellant assails his suspension which was effected on 30.9.2011 and has been extended and continued ever since. In November, 2006, he was posted as the Defence Estate Officer (DEO) Kashmir Circle, Jammu & Kashmir. During this tenure it was discovered that a large portion of the land owned by the Union of India and held by the Director General Defence Estates had not been mutated/noted in the Revenue records as Defence Lands. The Appellant alleges that between 2008 and 2009, Office-notes were prepared by his staff, namely, Shri Vijay Kumar, SDO-II, Smt. Amarjit Kaur, SDO-III, Shri Abdul Sayoom Technical Assistant, and Shri Noor Mohd., LDC, that approximately four acres of land were not Defence Lands, but were private lands in respect of which NOCs could be issued. These NOCs were accordingly issued by the Appellant. Thereafter, on 3.4.2010, the Appellant was transferred to Ambala Cantt. However, vide letter dated 25.1.2011 the Appellant was asked to give his explanation for issuing the factually incorrect NOCs. In his reply the Appellant admitted his mistake, denied any mala fides in issuing the NOCs, and attributed the issuance of the NOCs to the notes prepared by the subordinate staff of SDOs/Technical Officer. It was in this background that he received the Suspension Order dated 30.9.2011. Various litigation was fruitlessly initiated by the Appellant in the Central Administrative Tribunal, Chandigarh Bench, as well as in the Punjab & Haryana High Court, with which we are not concerned. The Appellant asserts that since the subject land was within the parameter wall of the Air Force Station, no physical transfer thereof has occurred. On 28.12.2011 the Appellant’s suspension was extended for the first time for a further period of 180 days. This prompted the Appellant to approach the Central Administrative Tribunal, Chandigarh Bench (CAT), and during the pendency of the proceedings the second extension was ordered with effect from 26.6.2012 for another period of 180 days. The challenge to these extensions did not meet with success before the CAT. Thereafter, the third extension of the Appellant’s suspension was ordered on 21.12.2012, but for a period of 90 days. It came to be followed by the fourth suspension for yet another period of 90 days with effect from 22.3.2013….read more