The Allahabad High Court has imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on former Gorakhpur district magistrate, K. Vijayendra Pandian, for what the court called “malicious” action of invoking Goonda Act against a petitioner and “harassing” him in respect of his disputed property.
Hearing a petition filed by Kailash Jaiswal, a division bench comprising Justices Suneet Kumar and Syed Waiz Mian quashed the notice issued by the Gorakhpur district administration in 2019, by which Goonda Act was invoked against the petitioner.
In addition, the court directed the Uttar Pradesh government to initiate an inquiry against Pandian, a 2008-batch IAS officer.
It was alleged that the petitioner was being coerced by the district administration to release the property in dispute in favour of the district administration.
The High Court, in its order, observed that it is essential to refer to at least two incidents of commission of crime for applicability of clause (i) of section 2(b) of the Goonda Act.
But there is reference to one incident only in the notice, the court added.
Passing the above directive, the court further said, “Having regard to the facts and circumstance of the case, prima facie, we are convinced that the proceedings initiated against the petitioner is not only malicious but to harass him in respect of the property in dispute which admittedly vests with the petitioner lawfully.”