Sacking of IPS officer upheld for being 'habitually in debt'

The Delhi High Court has upheld the dismissal of a 1973-batch IPS officer on the ground of misconduct and for "being habitually in debt" as he did not repay after taking loans from various banks.

"The petitioner (G C Verma) has contravened the provisions of Rule 15 of the said Conduct Rules by his failure to manage his private affairs so as to avoid habitual indebtedness.

"Consequently, the petitioner has been held to be guilty of grave misconduct unbecoming of a member of the Indian Police Service. In our view, the order of punishment of removal from service cannot be said to be either excessive or disproportionate in view of the proven misconduct," said a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul.

Verma, a 1973 batch IPS officer of Punjab and Haryana cadre, was accused of "habitual indebtedness" as he raised loans from banks and private persons during 1977 to 1985.

Following an ex-parte enquiry, the President, after consultation with UPSC, put the seal on his removal from service on October 13, 1994 on the ground that "by raising loans and making purchases on credit, the petitioner had failed to 'manage his private affairs as to avoid habitual indebtedness' and had hence contravened ... Rule 15 of All India Service (Conduct) Rules."

Verma challenged his dismissal before the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) which dismissed his plea. Later he moved the high court against the judgement.

Upholding the CAT's decision, the court said, "...the petitioner had been charged with having raised loans from various banks and individuals leading to habitual indebtedness constituting grave misconduct unbecoming of a member of the service. The above charges had also been admitted by him ...in his statement of defence. Further, report of Enquiry Officer had established and proved the charges made against the petitioner of being habitually in debt.

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