The Madras High Court Bench here on Monday vacated the stay imposed on suspension of 86 government servants who were facing charges of corruption and other criminal offences.

Justice K. Chandru dismissed writ petitions filed by the employees of various departments on the ground that delay in trial could not be a reason to interfere with the government's prerogative to suspend an employee.

Of the 86 petitioners, 16 were from the Revenue Department, 25 from Police, two from Animal Husbandry, one from Backward Class, two from Commercial Taxes, seven from Education, two from Fire Service and two from Forest. One of the petitioners was from Home Guard, eight from Health Department, one from Labour, four from Panchayat Raj/ Rural Development, six from Registration, one from Social Welfare, four from Survey and two from Transport Department.

The judge pointed out that most of the petitioners had filed their cases between October and December 2009 and obtained interim stay though their suspension orders had been passed much earlier. In some of the cases, the petitioners had already filed writ petitions challenging their suspension orders and those cases were dismissed by the court without giving any liberty to them to approach the court again.

“Instead of challenging those orders before a higher forum, the petitioners waited for sometime and filed the present set of writ petitions and have obtained interim orders on untenable grounds,” Mr. Justice Chandru said. “In the present cases, by a single stroke, the suspension orders were stayed, thus allowing the petitioners who are facing serious charges of corruption to be restored in the same post. The interim orders were granted even without admitting the writ petitions and without the benefit of any counter affidavit by the respondent State,” he added.

The judge went on to state: “The respondent State had also not shown serious interest in getting the interim orders vacated by filing appropriate counter affidavits with vacate stay applications. Even where the vacate stay applications were filed, they were not brought before the court for reasons not known.”

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