Court revokes order to remove him after he apologises

The Himachal Pradesh High Court has given respite to a senior IAS officer, who had earlier been ordered divested of judicial powers and removed, after he expressed regret and assured the court that he would follow the law.

The copy of the judgment, made available on Monday, said Sanjay Gupta, Divisional Commissioner, Kangra, who was earlier ordered to be removed from the post of Director, Consolidation of Holdings, appeared in the court and apologised.

A single judge Bench of Justice Deepak Gupta said the officer should be given one more chance to rectify his mistakes. “It is, however, made clear that in case any other case comes to the notice of this court, wherein he acts in such a fashion or does not follow the procedures prescribed by law, this court will not hesitate to reiterate its directions given earlier that he be divested of his judicial powers.”

On August 3, Mr. Justice Gupta, while disposing of a petition filed by one Sanjay Kumar against an order Mr. Sanjay Gupta passed, directed the Himachal Pradesh government to divest him of all judicial powers and post a competent officer in his place by September 15 as he “has little knowledge of law and who, despite an earlier warning given by the High Court, has not cared to improve.”

The court had observed earlier that “… his action in this case clearly shows that the earlier judgment had no impact on him, and he continues to act like a feudal Maharaja not caring about the rule of law. Twice the court warned Mr. Gupta on his negligent attitude.”

The Bench said that normally the court would not like to pass any comment on the action of the judicial authorities, but here was the case of a senior IAS officer exercising judicial powers, against whom strictures were passed earlier by the High Court.

Mr. Sanjay Gupta filed a review petition, praying that certain remarks passed against him be recalled or expunged, pleading that his career would suffer and his family would be disturbed if he were to be removed from the post.

Keywords: Sanjay Gupta