The Supreme Court has held that the government need not communicate the charges against an official sacked for delinquency or hold an enquiry if doing so would jeopardise the interests and the security of the country.
“In terms of the mandate of the constitution, the communication of the charge and holding of an enquiry could be dispensed with in view of the interest involving security of the state,” said an apex court bench of Justice Mukundakam Sharma and Justice A.R. Dave in their judgment on Wednesday.
Speaking for the bench, Justice Sharma further said that “there is equally for the same reasons no necessity of communicating the reasons for arriving at the satisfaction as to why the extreme penalty of dismissal is imposed on the delinquent officer”.
The court said this while setting aside the Delhi High Court order directing the centre to pass a reasoned order for dismissing the services of M.M. Sharma who was serving as the first secretary in the India embassy in Beijing.
The high court was, therefore, not justified in passing the impugned order, the judgment said.
M.M. Sharma came under adverse notice after he was found involved in an unauthorised and undesirable liason with Chinese nationals.
An inquiry by the Intelligence Bureau revealed the serious implication of his involvement and its adverse implications on the security of the country.
In this backdrop the centre held that it would not be expedient to hold the inquiry as it would expose the people working in diplomatic missions under some cover and the details of the intelligence operations in the host country (China).
“In the present case, the charges against the delinquent officer being very serious and also in view of the fact that the respondent was working in a very sensitive post, it cannot be said to be a case of disproportionate punishment to the offence alleged,” the judgment said.
It further said that the “reasons recorded in the official file against the person for dismissing him from service need not be incorporated in the impugned (dismissal) order passed.”