State of Uttar Pradesh to pay Rs. 10 Lakhs as compensation to a falsely implicated forest officer

Supreme Court: Coming down heavily upon the State of Uttar Pradesh for falsely implicating a retired Forest Officer for owning disproportionate assets beyond his income, illegal mining and auction of Tendu patta leaves causing loss of revenue to Government and undue gain to the purchasers, the Court said that until and unless a fine balance is maintained between prosecuting a guilty officer and protecting an innocent officer from vexatious, frivolous and mala fide prosecution, it would be very difficult for the public servant to discharge his duties in free and fair manner.

The bench of Ranjan Gogoi and N.V. Ramana, JJ, considering the necessity to fill the existing gap, said that the efficiency of a public servant demands that he should be free to perform his official duties fearlessly and without any favour and that the protection to an honest public servant is required not only in his interest but in the larger interest of society.

Considering the age and trauma suffered by the petitioner who spent about 11 days in jail and fought the legal battle for about a period of 10 years before various forums and more particularly in the absence of any proved charges of corruption against the petitioner, the Court directed the State Government to pay Rs. 10 Lakhs to the petitioner within 3 months as compensation. [Dr. Ram Lakhan Singh v. State Government of Uttar Pradesh, 2015 SCC OnLine SC 1177decided on 17.11.2015]

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