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J&K HC dismisses CRPF man’s petition against his termination from service

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Says petitioner fails to explain inordinate delay in approaching court to agitate decision

Srinagar: J&K High Court today held that the doctrine of delay and latches is not to be taken so lightly when a petitioner has miserably failed to explain his inordinate delay in approaching the court to agitate a decision against him by an agency.

The ruling came in a writ petition filed by a Kashmiri CRPF personnel, who approached the court to agitate his dismissal from service, many years after he was actually laid off.

Adjudicating the petition of constable Nissar Ahmad Shah, Justice Moksha Khajuria Kazmi dismissed the writ saying “this court is of the view that apart from merits, the writ petition suffers from delay and latches.”

She ruled, “The doctrine of delay and latches is not to be taken so lightly when the petitioner has miserably failed to explain as to why he could not approach this court after the termination order was furnished to him on 16.12.2011. Petitioner has nowhere explained the inordinate delay in approaching this court after about six years. The conduct of the petitioner reflects his inefficiency to be allowed to serve in a disciplined force.”

She concurred with the respondents saying they “have rightly stated in the impugned order that the petitioner is not fit to be retained in the disciplined force like CRPF.”

The petitioner Shah was appointed as constable in Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and was posted with D/22nd Battalion, at Assam in the year 1998.

In 2000, he was granted leave for 60 days from 12.07.2000 to 09.09.2000 on account of his mother being ill.

“Unfortunately”, according to his petition, “he lost his mother and his wife. These harsh circumstances lead to adverse psychiatric symptoms and the petitioner had to undergo consistent treatment and had to maintain proper follow-up from the year 2001.”

It stated “at the back of the petitioner, the proceedings were initiated and an ex-parte dismissal order was passed by the concerned commandant against him without affording the petitioner any opportunity of being heard. Petitioner made several representations to the Commandant and Director General CRPF, but no heed was paid to the representations of the petitioner by the respondents.”

Petitioner’s misfortune, according to his petition, went unabated as his mental health started deteriorating and ultimately he was detected with psychiatric disorders including acute depression and psychological disturbance.

Petitioner was admitted to Government Psychiatric Hospital on 01.02.2001 and underwent several cycles of therapies — both medicinal and psychological. Petitioner finally was discharged on 10.10.2008 as per the medical records, it said further.

He stated that the dismissal order against him speaks for itself that the proceedings were held ex-parte.

The respondent stated, “The constable overstayed from LKD w.e.f 11.09.2000 (FN) without any prior permission of competent authority. He was directed to report on duty vide letter dated 18.09.2000. Based on the complaint lodged by OC D/22 BN, CRPF, WOA (warrant of arrest) addressed to Sr. SP, Anantnag Kashmir, was issued against him on 30.09.2000 for arresting and arrangement to handover him to 97 Bn, CRPF which was deployed in District Anantnag, with proper escort.”

The CRPF disciplinary authority came to the conclusion that the petitioner is not fit to be retained in the disciplined force.

The court held “the petitioner had knowledge with respect to the disciplinary proceedings initiated against him, and he chose to remain silent for about 10 years and approached this court in 2011.”

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