delay in vigilance case
Sir I am govt. employee. My Dept. Opened a vigilance file after receiving complain from other govt. body since June,2012. Till date my Dept. has no any materials to prove me guilty. Other govt.body has not provided any evidence against me to my Dept. Recently they sent a letter wherein it is mentioned that a SLP is pending in Supreme Court in similar matter. Due to this SLP, my Dept. is not giving vigilance clearance to me, whereas my name is not in this SLP as an appellant or a respondent. Is it legally right or wrong?
Sir, more than 4 years have passed after your complain was received by your dept. In the absence of any concrete evidence and any charge sheet from the investigation committee they are not entitled to keep your case alive for more than 3 months let alone 4 years.
Time and again the courts have emphasised that there should not be an inordinate delay between the occurrence of the impugned actions and submission of the charge sheet by the enquiring committee. It is instructed by the govt. that the preliminary enquiry of any Vigilance complaint must be completed within three months from the date of receipt of complain. In the State of M.P. vs. Bani Singh it was held by Hon’ble bench of the apex court that an inordinate and inexplicable delay in filing the charge sheet can work as a valid ground for quashing it on the ground of denial of reasonable opportunity and such charge sheets can be challenged legally on the ground of staleness. Further, in State of Punjab vs. Chaman Lal Goyal it was held that if there is delay in filing of charge sheet then the burden of proofing that the delay was caused due to some reasonable cause will be upon the department.
Coming on the second part of your question, since a SLP is admitted in Hon’ble Supreme Court in similar manner there must be some legal backing in the case for admittance of that SLP and your department can site it. However since the SLP is pending in the apex court and verdict is not given yet on that matter, it cannot be treated as a precedent. Secondly in the absence of any proper charge sheet how can your department arrive on the decision that your case is similar to that of the pending SLP case? It’s unfair on their part to draw such conclusions and you should raise these questions in front of concerned officials of your department and in case of their noncompliance you can take legal help against this vigilance file.
 State of M.P. vs. Bani Singh, 1990 Suppl. S.C.C. 738
 State of Punjab vs. Chaman Lal Goyal SLR (1995) (1) 700 S.C.
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