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Bureaucrat can't be victimized for criticising government: SC

New Delhi: A bureaucrat cannot be victimized for criticising government before a judicial forum, as it does not amount to service misconduct, the Supreme Court has said while slapping a fine of Rs 5 lakh

PTI PTI Updated on: September 24, 2014 6:59 IST
bureaucrat can t be victimized for criticising government sc
bureaucrat can t be victimized for criticising government sc

New Delhi: A bureaucrat cannot be victimized for criticising government before a judicial forum, as it does not amount to service misconduct, the Supreme Court has said while slapping a fine of Rs 5 lakh on Centre and Uttar Pradesh government for harassing an IAS officer who approached it on the black money issue.

"The right to judicial remedies for the redressal of either personal or public grievances is a constitutional right of the subjects (both citizens and non-citizens) of this country. Employees of the state cannot become members of a different and inferior class to whom such right is not available," the bench headed by justice J Chelameswar said.

The bench, also comprising Justice AK Sikri said it is ‘astounding' that Centre and the state government consider that a complaint to the apex court of executive malfeasance causing debilitating economic and security concerns for the country amounts to inappropriate conduct for a civil servant.

"We are at a loss to comprehend how the filing of the writ petition containing allegations that the government of India is lax in discharging its constitutional obligations of establishing the rule of law can be said to amount to either failure to maintain absolute integrity and devotion to duty or of indulging in conduct unbecoming of a member of the service," the bench said.

The bench said that the Constitution declares India as a sovereign democratic Republic and "The requirement of such democratic republic is that every action of the state is to be informed with reason. State is not a hierarchy of regressively genuflecting coterie of bureaucracy."

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