Upholding a decision of the Central Administrative Court (CAT) to overturn the dismissal of an IPS executive from Rajasthan, the Delhi High Court ruled that an act of bigamy cannot always lead to the dismissal of a official. He said much of family matters that were previously a subject of public debate are now confined to the private domain.
âThe concept, definition and standards of morality have also changed, with changes in appearance, dress, language, etc. ; the behavior which shocked 50 years ago is now considered normal and / or at best an aberration, âsaid a division bench of judges Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Amit Bansal in his decision of March 19.
The court also said ethical standards had changed since the All India Services (Conduct) rules were developed over 50 years ago. What may have been unethical in 1968 is not necessarily unethical today and not necessarily as bad as in 1968, he said.
âWhile living with another woman while having an enduring marriage might not have been around 20 years ago either, today it is viewed differently,â the report reads. judgment, which was made public this week.
In 2016, a notice under the rules was served on the 2009 batch IPS agent for having started living with a woman and having a son with her despite an ongoing marriage to another woman since December 2005. He was dismissed. of his duties in February 2019 by the disciplinary authority in consultation with the Union Civil Service Commission. The lawsuit against the 44-year-old police officer was initiated following a complaint by his wife that he abused his post by having the man with whom she allegedly had a relationship arrested.
In December 2020, the CAT overturned the order of the disciplinary authority following which the government of Rajasthan applied to the Delhi High Court, arguing that it did not wish to keep the officer ‘who s ‘behaved in such an irresponsible and non-gentlemanly manner.
In its decision, the court stated without a doubt that the act committed by the officer is punishable under Article 494 IPC (the provision prohibiting a person from marrying another person during the lifetime of a husband or a woman’s). However, he added, it is the same only with the complaint of a person injured by the offense who in this case would have been his wife.
“Nowhere is it recorded that there was such a complaint. So it was not even the accusation against the [officer]. The ethical standard of an act of bigamy must be viewed in this light and in light of the facts and circumstances of each case, âthe court said.
He also said that the matrimonial relationship between the officer and his first wife was strained prior to his date of joining IPS and that they remained apart despite having a daughter born to them in 2008. âThe root cause of the discord matrimonial between [officer] and his wife being the caste to which [officer] belongs and not the extramarital affair of [officer] or selection of [officer] in IPS, as the prosecution suggests; so it’s not as if the [officer], by surrendering to the elite IPS, severed his matrimonial ties formed when he was not a member of such an elite service, âhe noted.
The court also said that after living apart from his wife, he did not immediately enter into a relationship with another woman. He did it after he filed for divorce. He also noted that he had given the other woman “the stature of wife and her name to the son born of this relationship.”