ITANAGAR, Sep 6: Following the reinstatement of Tani Jongkey as Tax & Excise Joint Commissioner by the High Court in March this year, the tax & excise commissioner has initiated an inquiry, though delayed, into procedural lapses.
Jongkey was booked by the police under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act for alleged sexual assault on an 11-year-old school girl on 2 June, 2017, and was suspended by the government on 22 November last year.
In an order issued on 6 August, Tax & Excise Commissioner Anirudh Singh stated that the officer had been reinstated because of serious lapses on the part of the officers and officials of the department as the file and the proposal for extending the suspension order were not submitted on time to the competent authority.
Tax & Excise Deputy Commissioner Ando Pangkam has been appointed to ascertain the procedural lapses that led to the “delay in review of suspension order and fixation of responsibility against the negligent officer.”
The mother of the school girl who was allegedly assaulted by Jongkey said she was disheartened by the lapses in the departmental inquiry. Speaking to his daily, the mother said it was distressing to note that Jongkey has managed to rejoin his work when the case is being heard in the court.
The High Court on 7 March this year had noted that even after the expiring of 90 days, the suspension order of Jongkey was not revoked or modified by the review committee of the department as per the provision of the Central Services Rules.
The HC directed the state authorities to revoke the suspension order and reinstate Jongkey in service from 22 November 2017, the day he was suspended. The court further directed the government to pay all consequential service benefits, including arrears of pay and allowances, due to the officer.
However, in October last year, the department had put up a file to the commissioner to consider revocation of the suspension order or to constitute a review committee pending disciplinary proceedings.
The file, which was accessed by this daily, suggests that the department had suggested revocation of the suspension order, which was shot down by the commissioner, who noted that the revocation of the suspension order without acquittal from the court of law and without favourable view of the departmental inquiry committee was not possible.
In another directive, the commissioner had further directed that no specific duty may be assigned to Jongkey as long as the departmental inquiry was pending.
Meanwhile, the report of the government-constituted two-member panel to inquire into the charges against Jongkey is yet to be submitted.
APWWS not amused by Jongkey’s reinstatement
The Arunachal Pradesh Women’s Welfare Society (APWWS) has expressed disappointment at Jongkey’s reinstatement as Tax & Excise Joint Commissioner.
Calling for constituting a fresh committee, consisting of representatives from NGOs, for an impartial inquiry, the APWWS on Thursday said Jongkey was able to rejoin the department because of non-submission of the inquiry report on time by the officers.
It said the reinstatement of Jongkey “reflects that a person of social standing has enormous influence and can manipulate and twist the case in their favour.”
Meanwhile, the APWWS has urged the state government to establish an independent child rights commission for taking up cases involving children’s rights.
It also appealed for early constitution of the APSCW with members from the empanelled list prepared by the outgoing commission.