States & UTs

    U'khand HC Bench Rescues Itself From Hearing IFS Sanjiv Chaturvedi's Case

    The Hawk
    May12/ 2023


    Nainital: A bench in Uttarakhand High Court has recused itself from hearing the case of Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer of the state cadre Sanjiv Chaturvedi.
    On Wednesday, a bench headed by Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and consisting of Justice Rakesh Thapliyal recused itself from hearing the case of Uttarakhand cadre IFS officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi.
    The bench ordered that case to be listed "before another Bench of which, one of us (Rakesh Thapliyal) is not a member". However, the order does not mention any reason for recusal.
    This writ was filed by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi against an order of the Nainital Bench of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), of February 2023 in which CAT had ordered the Union Health Ministry and AIIMS to produce all the records of corruption cases which were investigated by Chaturvedi and later on closed after his removal from the post of Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of the Institute.
    During his tenure as CVO from June 2012 to August 2014, Chaturvedi had unearthed and investigated many corruption cases involving senior officers and doctors of AIIMS.
    After his removal, he was awarded zero grading in his Annual Performance Appraisal Report in the financial year 2015-16.
    Subsequently, in July 2017, he had filed a case before the Nainital Bench of CAT which issued notices to the Union Health Ministry and AIIMS Delhi. In his petition, Chaturvedi had alleged that his performance appraisal report was downgraded as a 'vindictive action' for an investigation into corruption cases of influential persons. On an application filed by Chaturvedi, in February 2023, CAT had directed Union Health Ministry and AIIMS to produce records of these cases, 'in the interest of justice'.
    It was against this order that AIIMS had moved a writ petition before Uttarakhand High Court for a stay as well as setting aside this order.
    This is the sixth occasion when judges have recused from the case of Sanjiv Chaturvedi.
    In November 2013, the then Supreme Court judge Justice Ranjan Gogoi had recused himself from hearing a case filed by him regarding a CBI investigation into the role of then Chief Minister of Haryana, Bhupender Singh Hooda and other senior politicians, bureaucrats of State into various corruption cases exposed by him as well as his harassment.
    Later on in August 2016, the then Supreme Court Judge UU Lalit had also recused from hearing this case.
    In April 2018, a Shimla court judge had recused himself from hearing a defamation case filed by Vineet Chowdhary, the then Chief Secretary of Himachal Pradesh against Sanjiv Chaturvedi. In March 2019, the then Chairman, of Central Administrative Tribunal Delhi, Justice L. Narasimhan Reddy, had recused himself from hearing cases related to various transfer petitions of Chaturvedi, citing certain 'unfortunate developments'.
    In February 2021, another judge of CAT Delhi, Justice R.N Singh also recused himself from hearing a service matter case of Sanjiv Chaturvedi. —ANI