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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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


                                                             REPORTABLE
                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                       CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                      CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1615  OF 2013


STATE OF BIHAR & ORS.                        … APPELLANTS

                                   VERSUS

ASHOK KUMAR SINGH & ORS.                           … RESPONDENTS



                               J U D G M E N T


Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya, J.


      This appeal has been preferred  by  the  State  of  Bihar  and  others
against  the  judgment  dated  7th  May,  2007  passed  by  the  High  Court
Judicature at Patna in Cr.W.J.C. No.352 of 2002. By  the  impugned  judgment
the High Court giving reference to the provisions  of  Bihar  Reorganisation
Act, 2000 held that the impugned FIR instituted  on  20th  August,  2002  by
State of Bihar, much  after  the  appointed  day  is  not  maintainable  and
quashed the FIR.
2.    The factual matrix of the case is as follows:
       The  1st  respondent  –  Ashok  Kumar   Singh   belongs   to   Indian
Administrative Service. He was an officer for the  cadre  of  unified  Bihar
and was posted as  the  Managing  Director  of  the  Bihar  State  Financial
Corporation (hereinafter referred to as "BSFC”) (between 12th May, 1994  and
19 June, 1998). 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.
3.    The 1st respondent at that stage filed a writ  petition  bearing  CWJC
No.7680 of 1997 in the Patna High Court challenging the  inquiry.  The  same
was disposed of with certain observations. The observation made by the  High
Court   having   not   complied   with,   a   contempt   petition    bearing
M.J.C.No.1498/1998 was filed by the 1st respondent in the Patna High  Court.
It was disposed of with a peremptory order to dispose of the inquiry  within
8 months, subject to grant of extension.
4.    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. In  absence  of  any
progress in the Vigilance inquiry, the 1st respondent  filed  writ  petition
bearing CWJC No.1573/2001 before the High Court of Jharkhand at  Ranchi.  He
sought an order to restrain the State of  Bihar  from  proceeding  with  the
inquiry against him and from taking any  coercive  action  against  him.  He
also sought to quash the notice dated 7th April, 2001 issued by  the  Deputy
Superintendent of Police, Vigilance (Investigation) asking him to appear  on
24th April, 2001 in the inquiry.
5.    The High Court of Jharkhand by order dated 20th  April,  2001  refused
to interfere with the inquiry and dismissed the writ petition.  The  Letters
Patent Appeal filed by the 1st  respondent  against  the  order  dated  20th
April, 2001 was also dismissed by the Division Bench of the  High  Court  of
Jharkhand by order dated 27th September, 2001.
6.     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.
7.    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.  The  Vigilance  Department  filed  its   counter
affidavit thereto.
8.    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.
9.    The writ petition was heard by a learned Single  Judge  of  the  Patna
High Court and by the impugned judgment and order dated 7th  May,  2007  the
learned Single Judge quashed the FIR bearing Vigilance P.S.  Case  No.7/2002
dared 20th August, 2002 lodged against the  1st  respondent  and  restrained
the petitioner-State of Bihar from proceeding with the case.
10.   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.
11.   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.
13.   Before this Court the parties have taken similar pleas  as  was  taken
before the High Court.
14.   On perusal of records  and  on  careful  consideration  of  the  rival
submissions made on behalf of the parties, we are  of  the  view  that  P.S.
Case No.7 of 2002 dated 20th August, 2002 against  the  1st  respondent  was
maintainable and learned Judge of the High Court was wrong in  holding  that
the said FIR lodged at Patna, Bihar was not maintainable.
15.   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.  For  coming  to  such  finding  it  is
desirable to discuss the relevant provisions of the Reorganisation  Act  and
Circulars issued by Central Government from time to time.
16.   Section 76 of the Reorganisation  Act  deals  with  power  of  Central
Government to give  directions  to  the  State  Government  which  reads  as
follows:


           “Section 76. Power of Central Government  to  give  directions.-
           The Central Government may give such  directions  to  the  State
           Government of Bihar and the State Government of Jharkhand as may
           appear to it to be necessary for the purpose of giving effect to
           the foregoing provisions of this Part and the  State  Government
           shall comply with such directions.”



17.    In  exercise  of  power  conferred  under  Section  76  the   Central
Government issued a direction  dated  28th  March,  2002  in  which  it  was
provided that if any vigilance inquiry or investigation is  pending  against
any Officer of All India Services it will be completed  by  the  authorities
of the State to which he has been allotted. In the aforesaid circular  dated
28th March, 2002 a reference has been made  to  Memorandum  No.13013/8/2000-
AIS(I) which is an office memorandum  issued  by  the  Government  of  India
under the subject:- Personnel related  issues  incident  to  bifurcation  of
States. Paragraph 2 of the said memorandum reads as follows:
            “2[a]:- The original service records as well as the CR  dossiers
                  of officers of the All India Services  should  be  in  the
                  custody of the concerned State  of  which  the  individual
                  officer stands allotted. Hence, the service records and CR
                  dossiers of officers allotted to  Jharkhand,  Chhattisgarh
                  and Uttaranchal should be transferred to these States.


           [b]    The  custody  and  conduct  of   pending   disciplinary
                 proceedings/inquiries  in respect of IAS officers belonging
                 to the new ‘residual States  is  to  be  regulated  by  the
                 explanation below Rule 7[1][b] of the  All  India  Services
                 [Discipline and Appeal] Rules, 1969 which is as under:-


                 Explanation – For the purposes of clause [b] of  sub  rule
                 [1] where the  Government  of  a  State  is  the  authority
                 competent to institute disciplinary proceedings  against  a
                 member of the Service, in the  event  of  a  reorganization
                 after such reorganization of the State. The  Government  on
                 whose cadre he is borne after such reorganization shall  be
                 the   authority   competent   to   institute   disciplinary
                 proceedings and, subject to the provisions of sub-rule [2],
                 to impose on him any penalty specified in rule 6.”


18.   By another letter No.1 Misc.8038/2001 Karmik 241/01 clarification  has
been made  regarding  the  pending  proceedings  against  the  AIS  Officers
pursuant to bifurcation of the States. In the said letter  a  reference  has
been made to letter No.11018/2/2001-AIS[III] dated 10th July, 2001 in  which
the following clarifications have been given:-
            “[i]  The  Government  of  Jharkhand  would  be  the  competent
           authority  to  complete  pending  vigilance  enquiries   against
           officers who stand allocated  to  the  Jharkhand  cadre  as  has
           already been clarified in this Department’s OM  No.13013/8/2000-
           AIS[I] dated 20.12.2000 [Annexure-20]
           [ii]  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 of 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.”


19.   On behalf of the State of Bihar  it  was  submitted  before  the  High
Court that the dates of the alleged occurrence were prior  to  the  creation
of the State of Jharkhand and, therefore, Section 76 of  the  Reorganisation
Act will make no difference. Moreover, it was  contended  that  the  alleged
places of occurrence of the various offences said to have been committed  by
the 1st respondent were within  the  State  of  Bihar  and,  therefore,  the
Vigilance  Department  of  the  Government  of  Bihar  will  not  lose   the
jurisdiction to proceed against  the  1st  respondent.  In  this  connection
counsel on behalf of the State of Bihar  drew  attention  of  the  Court  to
Section 89 of the Reorganisation Act which reads as follows:-
           “Section  89.  Transfer  of  pending  proceedings  –  [1]  Every
           proceeding pending immediately before the appointed day before a
           court [other  than  the  High  Court],  tribunal,  authority  or
           officer in any area which on that day falls within the State  of
           Bihar shall, if it is a proceeding relating exclusively  to  the
           territory, which as from that day is the territory of  Jharkhand
           State, stand transferred to the corresponding  court,  tribunal,
           authority or officer of that State.
                            xxx   xxx   xxx  xxx”


20.   Learned Judge having noticed the aforesaid  provisions  and  circulars
issued by the Central Government observed as follows:
           “As stated above with the creation of  State  of  Jharkhand  the
           services of the petitioner stood transferred to this State  with
           effect from 15.11.2000. It  is  clear  that  on  this  date  the
           vigilance inquiry with respect to the Vigilance P.S.  Case  No.7
           of  2002  was  pending  against  the  petitioner  whose   F.I.R.
           [Annexure 25] is dated 20.8.2002 filed  against  the  petitioner
           and others. This shows that till then the investigation  against
           the petitioner was pending and the F.I.R.  in  this  regard  was
           lodged on 20.08.2002 much after the creation  of  the  State  of
           Jharkhand. The  important  question  that  will  arise  in  this
           connection would be whether any investigation by  the  State  of
           Bihar would have been carried out  against  an  officer  of  IAS
           cadre whose services were transferred/allotted to the  State  of
           Jharkhand with effect from 15.11.2000 culminating in lodging  of
           the F.I.R. [Annexure – 25] on 20.08.2007 ? Form  what  has  been
           noticed above it is clear that  the  law  does  not  permit  the
           Cabinet [Vigilance Department] Government of Bihar to lodge  the
           F.I.R. against the petitioner on 20.08.2002 when he was  already
           allotted to the State of Jharkhand with effect  from  15.11.2000
           and was born on the I.A.S. cadre of  the  State.  Obviously  the
           answer to this question would be in negative. From this it would
           appear  that  the  F.I.R.  lodged  against  the  petitioner   in
           Vigilance P.S. Case No.7 of 2002 [Annexure -25]  was  completely
           without jurisdiction in view of the letters  and  the  different
           orders issued in this regard as noticed above.”

21.   Admittedly, the first respondent  had  not  challenged  the  vigilance
inquiry  in  the  writ  petition  in  question  before  the  High  Court  of
Judicature at Patna. What was challenged was the FIR lodged against the  1st
respondent as Vigilance P.S. Case No.7  of  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 qua the 1st respondent.
22.   The 1st respondent challenged the vigilance  inquiry  in  the  earlier
writ petition bearing Cr. W.J.C. No.7680/1997 in the Patna High Court.  That
was disposed of on 25th November, 1997. There was no occasion  for  the  1st
respondent to challenge the said vigilance inquiry by  filing  another  writ
petition.
23.   Part VIII of the Reorganisation Act relates to “provisions as  to  the
services”. Under Section 76 the Central Government  has  been  empowered  to
give such directions to the State Government of Bihar and  State  Government
of Jharkhand as may appear to it to be necessary for the purpose  of  giving
effect to the provisions of Part VIII and the  State  Governments  are  made
bound to comply with such directions.  By  the  clarifications  issued  from
time to time, as referred to above, State  Government  on  whose  cadre  the
accused officers were posted after bifurcation  was  directed  to  institute
disciplinary proceedings against such officers. By letter dated  10th  July,
2001 it was clarified by the Central Government that the State of  Jharkhand
would be the competent authority  to  complete  pending  vigilance  inquires
against officers who stand allocated to the Jharkhand cadre as  has  already
been clarified in this Department’s Office Memorandum dated  20th  December,
2000.
24.   From the aforesaid circulars issued from time  to  time  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.
25.   The allegations are related to the period 12th May, 1994 to 1st  June,
1996 when the  1st  respondent  was  posted  at  Patna,  Bihar  as  Managing
Director of the BSFC, therefore, on behalf of the appellant it  was  rightly
submitted  that  since  the  alleged  commission  of  offences  by  the  1st
respondent has taken place in State  of  Bihar  while  he  was  serving  the
State, it will have jurisdiction to proceed against the 1st  respondent  and
to lodge FIR at Patna.
26.   Learned counsel for the 1st respondent also  raised  the  question  of
legality of the FIR, in view of the order passed by  the  Patna  High  Court
and Jharkhand High Court from time to time.
27.   Under Section 76, the Central Government is  empowered  to  give  such
directions to the State Government of Bihar and State Government  Jharkhand,
for  the  purpose  of  giving  effect  to  the  provisions  of   the   Bihar
Reorganisation Act, the State  Government  is  bound  to  comply  with  such
directions. By letter No.1 Misc.  8038/2001  Karmik  241/01  issued  by  the
Central  Government  clarification  has  been  made  regarding  the  pending
proceedings against the AIS officers pursuant to bifurcation of  States.  In
the said letter  a  reference  has  been  made  to  letter  No.11018/2/2001-
AIS[III] dated 10th July, 2001 in which it  was  clarified  by  the  Central
Government  that  the  Government  of  Jharkhand  would  be  the   competent
authority to complete pending vigilance inquiries against the  officers  who
stand allocated to the Jharkhand cadre  as  has  already  clarified  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.
28.   In view of the aforesaid circular dated 20th  December,  2000  and  by
letter dated 10th July, 2001 read with  Section  76  of  the  Reorganisation
Act, vigilance inquiry which was initiated against  the  1st  respondent  by
the Vigilance Department of the State of Bihar prior  to  reorganisation  of
the State i.e. 15th November, 2000, should  have  been  transferred  to  the
Vigilance Department of the State of Jharkhand, as the  1st  respondent  was
allocated cadre  of  Jharkhand  and  was  posted  under  the  Government  of
Jharkhand.  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.
29. The 1st respondent had challenged the  inquiry  before  the  Patna  High
Court by filing a writ petition bearing C.W.J.C. No.7680 of 1997.  The  said
case was disposed of with certain observations. Having not complied with,  a
contempt petition bearing  M.J.C.No.1498  of  1998  was  filed  by  the  1st
respondent in the Patna  High  Court.  It  was  also  disposed  of  on  29th
November, 1999 with a peremptory order to dispose of the  inquiry  within  8
months, subject to grant of extension. Order dated 29th  November,  1999  is
quoted hereunder:
                  “In  pursuance  of  Court’s  order,  Mr.  Arvind  Prasad,
           Secretary, Personnel and Administrative Reforms  Department  and
           Mr. N.K. Agrawal, Vigilance  Commissioner  are  present  in  the
           Court with relevant file.


                 It appears that the Vigilance Department submitted  report
           in favour of petitioner wherein the Chief Secretary  ordered  to
           obtain opinion from the Vigilance Commissioner;  petitioner  and
           thereafter from Law Department. After receiving the  opinion  of
           the Vigilance Commissioner; reply of petitioner, the matter  was
           forwarded to the Law Department, which recommended to remand the
           matter to  the  Vigilance  Department  for  further  inquiry  on
           certain facts. In view of such remand, the Vigilance  Department
           is holding further inquiry in respect  of  allegations  as  were
           made against the petitioner.


                 The Vigilance Commissioner states that the further inquiry
           will be concluded within six months and report will be submitted
           to the Government within the aforesaid period.


                 On behalf of  the  State,  the  Secretary,  Personnel  and
           Administrative Reforms Department  states  that  final  decision
           would be taken by the State by Vigilance Department  within  two
           months thereof.


                 In the facts  and  circumstances,  instead  of  processing
           against the opposite parties,  I  allow  them  further  time  to
           conclude the vigilance inquiry and to pass final  order  thereof
           within eight months from today, on failure the  said  proceeding
           will stand quashed  on  the  ground  of  non-compliance  of  the
           Court’s order.


                 However, it will be open to the appropriate  authority  to
           ask for more time, on genuine  ground.  The  appearance  of  Mr.
           Arvind Prasad, Secretary, Personnel and  Administrative  Reforms
           Department and Mr.  N.K.  Agrawal,  Vigilance  Commissioner  are
           dispensed with.


                 The M.J.C. application stands disposed of.”


30.   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.



                                             ……………………………………………………………………………J.
                                     (SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA)



                                             ……………………………………………………………………………J.
                                           (V. GOPALA GOWDA)

NEW DELHI,
JULY 9, 2014.

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