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Quashing of FIR – allegations of corruptions against IAS cadre officer and others – Bihar govt. order for vigilance enquiry – when challenged high court granted 8 months time for completing enquiry – Bifurcation of Bihar & Jarkhand – Accused was allotted to Jarkhand State – FIR reg. basing on vigilance report at Bihar Govt. – writ to quash the FIR due to lack of Jurisdiction – Apex court held that since the vigilance report/ enquiry is not transferred as per the circulars r/w as per sec.76 of Re organisation Act to Jarkhand State which holds jurisdiction to conduct enquiry – and since the enquiry report not completed with in 8 months as per the High court , the proceedings stands cancelled and as such the FIR registered basing on vigilance report of Bihar Govt at Bihar state against the IAS Cadre officer not maintainable – confirmed the High court judgment and dismissed the appeal =STATE OF BIHAR & ORS. … APPELLANTS VERSUS ASHOK KUMAR SINGH & ORS. … RESPONDENTS = 2014 – July. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41757

Quashing of FIR – allegations of corruptions against IAS cadre officer and others – Bihar govt. order for vigilance enquiry – when challenged high court granted 8 months time for completing enquiry – Bifurcation of Bihar & Jarkhand – Accused was allotted to Jarkhand State – FIR reg. basing on vigilance report at Bihar Govt. – writ to quash the FIR due to lack of Jurisdiction – Apex court held that since the vigilance report/ enquiry is not transferred as per the circulars r/w as per sec.76 of Re organisation Act to Jarkhand State which  holds jurisdiction to conduct enquiry – and since the enquiry report not completed with in 8 months as per the High court , the proceedings stands cancelled and as such the FIR registered basing on vigilance report of Bihar Govt at Bihar state against the IAS Cadre officer not maintainable – confirmed the High court judgment and dismissed the appeal =

On 1st June, 1996 complaints were received against  the  1st

respondent and some others alleging that as the  Managing  Director  of  the

BSFC he and ten other persons including  six  public  servants  floated  two

NGOs   and   received   illegal   gratification   by   forcing   the    BSFC

beneficiaries/loanees to deposit money in the NGOs in  return  of  financial

favours shown to them by waving off outstanding loan recoveries.  

They  were

also  alleged  of  tampering  with  records.   

The   Vigilance   Department, Government of Bihar instituted an inquiry.

The 1st respondent at that stage filed a writ  petition  bearing  CWJC

No.7680 of 1997 in the Patna High Court challenging the  inquiry. and also contempt later on.=

It was disposed of with a peremptory order to dispose of the inquiry  within

8 months, subject to grant of extension.=

Meanwhile, the unified State of Bihar was bifurcated  into  the  State

of Bihar and the State of Jharkhand through the  Bihar  Reorganisation  Act,

2000 (hereinafter referred to as the “Reorganisation Act”).

15th  November,

2000 was fixed to be  the  appointed  day  for  such  bifurcation.

The  1st

respondent was allotted/transferred to Jharkhand Cadre.=

 Meanwhile,  on  the  basis  of  a  detailed  inquiry,  the  Vigilance

Investigation Bureau instituted Vigilance P.S.  Case  No.7/2002  dated  20th

August, 2002 under  Section  420/465/466/467/471/477(A)/201/109/120B  I.P.C.

and under  Section  13(1)(d)  read  with  Section  13(2)  of  Prevention  of

Corruption Act, 1988 against  the  1st  respondent  and  ten  other  accused

persons including six public servants. The FIR was lodged by  the  Vigilance

Investigation Bureau, Government of Bihar at Patna. =


The 1st respondent challenged the aforesaid  FIR  dated  20th  August,

2002 by filing a writ petition bearing Cr.W.J.C. No.352 of 2002  before  the

Patna High Court with a prayer to quash the FIR. Further prayer was made  to

direct the Vigilance Department, Government of Bihar not to  investigate  or

to  proceed  against  him. =

Later, another Vigilance P.S. Case No.05/2003 dated 31st  March,  2003

under Section 420/467/468/471/109/120(B) I.P.C. and under  Section  13(1)(d)

read with Section 13(2) of Prevention  of  Corruption  Act,  1988  was  also

registered against the 1st respondent and four other officers  of  the  BFSC

for giving financial favours to M/s. Luxman  Wire  Industries,  Digha  Ghat,

Patna.=

Before the High  Court  on  behalf  of  the  1st  respondent,  it  was

contended that in view of the fact that he has  been  allotted  to  the  IAS

Cadre of the Jharkhand State on 15th November, 2000, i.e. the date on  which

the Jharkhand State came into existence, the  Vigilance  Department  of  the

State of Bihar ceased to have jurisdiction to investigate the  case  against

him. 

Under law the investigation of any  vigilance  case  against  him  will

stood vested in the State of Jharkhand after its creation on 15th  November,

2000.

 In that view of the matter, it was contended  on  behalf  of  the  1st

respondent  that  the  lodging  of  the  FIR  against   him   by   Vigilance

Investigation  Bureau  of  the  State  of  Bihar   is   completely   without

jurisdiction and, therefore, it is liable to be quashed.=


On behalf of the appellant-State of Bihar it was submitted that  since

the alleged commission of offences by the 1st  respondent  had  taken  place

within the State of Bihar while the 1st respondent was still  serving  State

of Bihar it will have jurisdiction to proceed against him and to lodge  FIR.

It had been submitted that the subsequent allotment  of  cadre  of  the  1st

respondent to the State of Jharkhand will not  make  any  difference  in  as

much as the offences as alleged have been committed  by  him  while  he  was

serving in the State of Bihar.

On this ground it had been argued that  there was no merit in the submission of the 1st respondent.=

12.   Learned Judge referred to the provisions of the  Bihar  Reorganisation

Act which came into force with effect from 15th  November,  2000.

Referring

to provisions of the Reorganisation Act and circulars issued by the  Central

Government the learned Single Judge held that in  the  present  case  it  is

Section  76  of  the  Reorganisation  Act  and  not  Section   89   of   the

Reorganisation Act which is  applicable  and  in  that  case  the  Vigilance

Department of the State of Bihar has no jurisdiction  to  inquire  into  the

matter or to lodge FIR.=

Apex court held that 

So far as  the  provisions  of  Section  76  and  Section  89  of  the

Reorganisation Act and the  circulars  issued  by  the  Central  Government,

which were relied upon by the learned Judge of the High Court is  concerned,

we are of the opinion  that  they  are  not  applicable  in  the  facts  and

circumstances of the  present  case.=

 it  is  clear

that the  circulars  aforesaid  related  to  the  Departmental  Inquiry  and

Vigilance Inquiry and none  of  the  circulars  relate  to  lodging  of  FIR

against an officer of either State at one or other place. Section 89 of  the

Reorganisation Act relates to pending  proceedings.  Lodging  of  FIR  after

reorganization of the States (15th November, 2000) herein has nothing to  do

with pending proceedings, therefore, in the matter of challenge  to  an  FIR

(quashing of FIR), neither provisions of Section 76 or  Section  89  of  the

Reorganisation Act nor  circulars  issued  by  the  Central  Government,  as

noticed by the High Court and discussed above are applicable. For  the  said

reason we hold that the High Court was wrong in referring to the  provisions

of the Reorganisation Act and circulars issued  by  the  Central  Government

for holding the FIR to be not maintainable in the State of Bihar.=

by  the

Central Government OM NO.13013/8/2000-AIS[I] dated 20th December, 2000.  The

Government of Jharkhand shall also be the  competent  authority  to  take  a

decision regarding initiation  of  disciplinary  proceedings  or  any  other

action based on the final report for any vigilance inquiry  which  may  have

been initiated by the Government of Bihar in respect of an officer  who  now

stands allocated to Jharkhand cadre.=

Therefore,  it  is  rightly  contended  on  behalf  of  the  1st

respondent that in view of the fact that he has been allocated  to  the  IAS

cadre of the Jharkhand State since 15th November, 2000, i.e.,  the  date  on

which  Jharkhand  State  came  into  existence,  the  Vigilance  Department,

Government of Bihar ceases to have a  jurisdiction  to  investigate  against

the 1st respondent.

Admittedly, vigilance inquiry  against  the  1st  respondent  was  not

completed within 8  months  as  directed  by  the  High  Court.  Having  not

completed the inquiry within the stipulated time, as per order of  the  High

Court, the said proceedings stood quashed on the  ground  of  non-compliance

of Court’s order.

31.   The impugned FIR was lodged against the 1st respondent  based  on  the

Vigilance Inquiry  which  stood  quashed.  Therefore,  in  view  of  finding

recorded above, we hold that FIR itself based on Vigilance Inquiry  made  by

State of Bihar was not maintainable. For the reasons aforesaid, we  are  not

inclined to interfere with the impugned  order  passed  by  the  Patna  High

Court.

32.   The appeal is accordingly dismissed.

2014 – July. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41757

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