APWWS questions coercion in Jongkey case
ITANAGAR, Oct 30: The state government is yet to initiate action against Tax & Excise Joint Commissioner Tani Jongkey, who allegedly molested a 12-year-old schoolgirl, even though the inquiry panel constituted by Chief Secretary Satya Gopal has already submitted its report.
The two-member panel, with Tapasya Raghav (as the inquiry officer) and IRS officer Anirudh S Singh, is reported to have recommended strict and exemplary penalty as per the CCS Conduct Rules, 1965.
The panel was constituted on 22 August by the state administration after the mother of the schoolgirl had lodged a complaint on 5 July last year. The panel’s report was reportedly submitted on 14 September, 2018, with strict recommendation for action against Jongkey.
The officer had been booked by the police under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act for alleged sexual assault on the 12-year-old on 2 June, 2017, and had been suspended by the government on 22 November last year.
However, Jongkey was reinstated following a high court (HC) order.
The HC on 7 March this year noted that even after the expiring of 90 days, the suspension order of Jongkey had not been revoked or modified by the review committee of the department as per the provision of the Central Services Rules, and directed the state authorities to revoke the suspension order and reinstate Jongkey in service from 22 November, 2017 – the day he had been suspended.
The court further directed the government to pay all consequential service benefits, including arrears of pay and allowances, due to the officer.
Following the reinstatement of Jongkey by the HC, the tax & excise commissioner initiated an inquiry, though delayed, into procedural lapses.
In an order issued on 6 August this year, Tax & Excise Commissioner Anirudh S 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 had not been submitted on time to the competent authority.
In October last year, the department had put up a file to the commissioner to either 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 Singh, 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.
Speaking to this daily, the mother of the schoolgirl said she is under pressure to withdraw the case and to settle it in a local traditional court. She expressed dissatisfaction at the slowness of the state administration in acting on the report, as well as the delay in issuing a verdict.
The mother also alleged that there is political as well as societal pressure on her to withdraw the case.
The Arunachal Pradesh Women’s Welfare Society has also strongly condemned the clan-based organisations and others who – allegedly at the behest of Tax & Excise Joint Commissioner Tani Jongkey – attempted to pressurize and negotiate with the girl’s mother to settle the case.
“It is very sad that instead of extending moral support to the victim’s mother who is fighting tooth and nail for the justice of her daughter, the clan-based organizations are playing the role as negotiators. ” the APWWS stated in a release as it urged the authorities to expedite the investigation.