ITANAGAR, Aug 14: In a first of its case, the state government has imposed ‘compulsory retirement’ as punishment on Tax and Excise Joint Commissioner Tani Jongkey for sexual assault on an 11-year-old girl.
In an order issued by the state’s chief secretary on 12 August, 2019, Jongkey has been imposed with the penalty of ‘compulsory retirement…with immediate effect’ under the Central Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1965.
The state government noted that Jongkey did not present “any new and convincing evidence in his defence for consideration and as such, the charges against the erring officer were found to be proved beyond reasonable doubt.”
Taking into consideration “all facts and circumstances of the case and after examining all documents placed on record and after being totally convinced with the recommendation of the inquiry officer and keeping in view the sensitivity and seriousness of the matter and grave misconduct committed by the delinquent officer,” the governor of Arunachal Pradesh imposed the penalty of “compulsory retirement upon Tani Jongkey, Joint Commissioner (Tax and Excise) with immediate effect.”
On 2nd June, 2017, Jongkey was accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl and booked by the police under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
He was placed under suspension on 22 August, 2017 and an inquiry officer was appointed to inquire into the charges framed against the officer on the same day.
However, Jongkey filed a writ petition before the high court and prayed for revocation of his suspension order.
When no review of his suspension order was undertaken after the expiry of 90 days period, the officer was reinstated from 21 November, 2017 by the court.
Consequently, the inquiry report was submitted by the inquiry officer and the charged officer was found to have indulged in misconduct and misbehaviour with the minor girl.
The inquiry officer recommended imposition of strict and exemplary penalty against Jonkey under Rule 11 of the CCS (SSA) Rules, 1965.
Jongkey was also given the opportunity to submit his written defence against the inquiry officer’s recommendation within 15 days on 6 November, 2018.
Meanwhile, Secretary of Tax and Excise, Anirudh Saran Singh has commended the state government for the action taken.
“The compulsory retirement of Tani Jongkey is a path-breaking step taken by the chief minister. Never before has such a penalty been levied on a senior civil servant in the state. It sends an unequivocal message to all, that the safety and security of women and children is the top priority of the government and is not negotiable. The chief minister has made it clear to all, that misdemeanours against women or children shall not go unpunished, however powerful or influential the delinquent person maybe,” he told this daily.
Instrumental in bringing Jongkey to justice, the mother of the 11-year-old girl had received several requests as well as threats to withdraw the case against Jongkey from community leaders, officers and politicians.
The Arunachal Pradesh Women’s Welfare Society had also raised the issue on several occasions and sought justice for the child.