The Raman Singh government has dismissed Sukma district’s Chief Judicial Magistrate Prabhakar Gwal from service in “public interest”, following the recommendation of the Chhattisgarh High Court. Mr. Gwal, a Dalit Magistrate was dismissed on the basis of “available material” (not in public domain) without a internal/departmental inquiry.
On April 4 afternoon, Mr Gwal had updated the news of his termination via his Facebook account-
“DISTRICT COURT DANTEWADA (918982620495):- //ORDER//
Raipur, dated 01.04.2016
“Government of Chhattisgarh state hereby, dismisses Shri prabhakar gwal, Member of lower Judicial Services, Civil judge class-I and Chief judicial magistrate, Sukma, from service in public interest with immediate effect.
District and sessions Judge
South Baster dantewada C.G.”
Earlier, Gwal had hit the headlines for alleging that a BJP legislator, Ramlal Chouhan, had threatened him after he convicted five people in connection with the leak of PMT question papers in 2011. His wife too had written to the President alleging harassment, claiming that Gwal was transferred to Sukma as a result of his judgment. Mr Prabhakar had accused a ruling BJP MLA of threatening him over the judgment.
Mr. Gwal has had a history of exposing corrupt officials and politicians. While Gwal was posted in Bilaspur, he had ordered an inquiry against government officials and Police officers, for the infamous ‘Bhadaura Land-Scam’. The land scam is known for involvement of a senior minister of BJP (Amar Agrawal). Similarly, he had ordered for inquiry of Bilaspur RTO officials. He was then transferred to Raipur, where he rejected to accept Closure Report in the case of IPS Rahul Sharma’s suicide. After that he was transferred to Dantewada. Recently his phone conversation with Dantewada Collector had gone viral, in which Collector had asked Gwal to consult him before ordering to file any case.
He is known for taking strong actions against the executive arm of the government and enjoys a public image of being an upright man. His dismissal comes after his wife filed a civil case against 19 people including judicial officers for harassing her husband. HC stayed that case, meanwhile his dismissal was recommended.
A Dalit officer being dismissed in such a one-sided, clouded, swift manner raises larger questions on the system itself. Was he an inconvenient man who didn’t understand the system and it’s ‘norms’? Did his voice against BJP MLA (Ramla Chauhan), Mr Amar Agarwal and Mr Neeraj Bhansod (for interfering in judicial work) made higher ups uncomfortable? These questions are being raised after his dismissal. The ball is in the judiciary and government court to clear and come out clean. A dismissal order by merely stating, that ‘it is in public interest’ doesn’t fit the democratic norms in 2016.
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