The Madras High Court has directed the Puducherry government to take a decision on reconstituting an inquiry committee to look into charges against an official of the Department of Drugs Control, who was reported as ‘unfit’ by CBI for the post of Drugs Inspector. The court gave the directions on Wednesday after looking into a PIL filed by V Manikandan, an MLA of Puducherry Assembly. The PIL sought a direction to the Chief Secretary of the Puducherry administration to quash the Government Order constituting an inquiry committee to probe the charges against the Assistant Commissioner, Department of Drugs Control, Baalassoupramanien, and reconstitute it.
The court said, “The representation of the petitioner for reconstitution of the Committee, in the form of this petition, be examined by Government of Puducherry and a decision taken on the same and communicated to the petitioner in one month.” Manikandan submitted that he had raised the issue of alleged closure of nearly 150 drug companies in Puducherry, in the recent past due to “torture” and corrupt practices of the official, who was then Drug Inspector. He was later promoted as Assistant Commissioner, which is not a sanctioned post.
Referring to the CBI report on the officer, which stated he was unfit for the post of Drug Inspector, the petitioner alleged the promotion was given to the officer even without obtaining a vigilance clearance.He alleged that the Under Secretary to Health Department, who is facing several charges and another Group B officer and a subordinate to the ‘delinquent’ officer, were nominated as members of the Enquiry Committee, which was illegal. Manikandan submitted that he had already made a representation to the Chief Minister in this regard on November 21, but to no avail. Hence, he moved the court seeking a direction to set aside the order of appointment of the Committee and to reconstitute it.