Elected representatives can’t be suspended on flimsy grounds to settle political scores: Rajasthan High Court

Latest News

The Rajasthan High Court recently observed that democratically elected representatives cannot be prevented from discharging their duties by placing them under suspension on flimsy grounds or to settle the political scores. [Bheru Singh v State & Ors]
While quashing a suspension order against the Sarpanch of Baori Kalla Gram Panchayat, Justice Vinit Kumar Mathur observed,

“Placing under suspension of democratically elected persons on account of political vendetta weakens the very foundation of the democratic set up and, therefore, the respondents are under an obligation to pass the order of suspension after due application of mind. The passing of the suspension order casually in case of elected representatives adversely affect the public at large.”

Justice Vinit Kumar Mathur
The petitioner Bheru Singh challenged his initial suspension before the High Court, which passed an interim order in August 2022 reinstating him as Sarpanch. Upon reinstatement, he was suspended again in October 2022. However, after an inquiry by the State authorities, he was reinstated.

He was suspended for a third time on March 5, 2024, based on an inspection conducted by the respondents on August 10, 2021. Challenging the suspension order, he filed the present plea in the High Court.

The Court observed that the respondents had failed to produce a report and justified the suspension solely based on an inspection conducted almost three years ago.

Although the respondent’s counsel argued that the latest inquiry report dated February 14, 2023 was submitted, the Court noted that the report was not referred to in the latest suspension order dated March 5, 2024.

“The chronology of the events in the present case clearly demonstrates that for one reason or the other, the respondents are bent upon keeping the petitioner away from working as Sarpanch by passing the suspension order on one count or another. Even, no report has been placed on record by the respondents with regard to the inspection conducted by them on 10.08.2021,” the Court observed.

It noted that the latest inquiry report mentioned certain deficiencies in specific projects carried out during the Sarpanch’s tenure. However, it opined that holding the Sarpanch solely responsible for these deficiencies is unjustified.

Given these circumstances, the Court concluded that the latest suspension order was issued mechanically and set it aside.

Advocates CS Kotwani and Yash Rajpurohit appeared for petitioner.

AAG Manish Patel appeared for respondents.

Source Link

Leave a Reply