Retire deadwood employees prematurely: Himachal HC

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh High Court has directed the state to explore the possibility of invoking its powers to retire employees prematurely wherever they have become deadwood or liability on account of doubtful integrity.

The order on a petition came when a bench led by Justice Surya Kant was informed on Monday that the state has 66 officials with doubtful integrity. Nineteen of them are holding sensitive posts.

Criminal proceedings are pending in courts against 12 officials, the Additional Advocate General, quoting a letter of the Principal Secretary (Vigilance), informed the bench, also comprising Justice Ajay Mohan Goel.

With regard to 54 departmental inquiries, 28 have been completed while 26 are yet to be finalised. Out of the 26 cases, 16 are pending before the Commissioner of Departmental Enquiries and the remaining are pending with different departments.

The bench, listing the matter for next hearing on March 14, 2019, directed the Commissioner of Departmental Inquiries and departments concerned to complete the pending proceedings against the officials within two months.

With regard to the officers against whom vigilance or police cases are pending, the court said: “Let separate status reports be filed”.

“Similarly, the government needs to evolve a policy mechanism to ensure that where integrity of the officer or official is under cloud, he should not be given sensitive or administrative posting,” the judges said, in an order provided to the media on Wednesday.