The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Madras Bench, has declined to quash a showcause notice issued to a Customs officer.
A few years ago, M. Ramkumar was convicted by a CBI special court on charges of corruption but given a clean chit during departmental proceedings. Under the circumstances, the issuance of showcause notice would spell double jeopardy for him, he said in a petition to CAT.
Dismissing Ramkumar’s application challenging the issuance of charge memo, the Tribunal bench comprising G. Shanthappa and O.P. Sosamma said, “There is no illegality, irregularity or legal infirmity while issuing the impugned showcause notice. We are not inclined to interfere with the showcause notice.”
While working as an appraiser in the air commissionerate in 1996, Ramkumar violated rules and gave ‘let export’ orders for consignments of various exporting firms. However, departmental proceedings in 2008 cleared him of all charges.
During this period, three criminal cases were filed against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act and he was convicted by a CBI special court. Later, the commissioner of Customs issued a showcause notice to him.
The Bench said the competent authority had exercised its powers under relevant rules and issued the showcause notice.