Srinagar: An anti-corruption court in Srinagar ordered the release of a government health employee’s service book, seized during a corruption investigation (FIR No.05/2014).

Judge Surinder Singh recognized the employee’s difficulties due to impending retirement, halted increments, and withheld salary.

Despite objections citing the book as key evidence, the court ruled to temporarily return it to the DDO for updating grievances, with strict instructions to retain it untouched for forensic analysis and re-deposit it with the investigation officer within two months.

The court noted that the applicant  is facing hardships in maintaining his service book as number of increments has not been updated by the concerned DDO and his salary has been stopped. 

“The FIR has been lodged and the conclusion of investigation is yet to be completed which is unknown to the rule of law and is not involved in any way in the supra FIR,” court read out from the application. 

Special Public Prosecutor submitted in his objections stated before court that the service book of the applicant has been seized by Police station crime Branch in case FIR No.05/2014 u/s 420,468,471,120-B RPC r/w 5(2) PC Act of 2006. 

He further submitted in his objections that seized service book including other records are a vital piece of evidence to prove the guilt of the accused during the course of trial, as such the application deserves outright rejection. 

The court while hearing the parties said  it would be just and appropriate in the matter in hand if the service book of the applicant is ordered to be released in favour of the DDO concerned enabling him to access the case of the applicant and pass appropriate orders thereon with regard to the grievances of the applicant.  

“I, therefore, allow the application of the applicant and order the release of service book of the applicant in favour of the DDO concerned with the direction to re-deposit the same with the IO concerned within two months from the date of the order,” court said. 

Court further ordered the DDO concerned shall not make any insertion/writing in the document so released because the document bearing initials and handwritings are yet to be submitted to FSL for expert legal examinations and for providing legal opinion thereof.  

“The Investigation officer shall retain the Xerox copy of the service book before its release in favour of the DDO concerned. A copy of this order be sent to IO and DDO concerned for information and compliance.Application is disposed of accordingly and shall be consigned to records after due completion,” court said. 

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