UP officials, IIT professor in dock over PIL
New Delhi: A public interest litigation (PIL) moved by an IIT-Delhi professor and two senior Uttar Pradesh officials against Enforcement Directorate (ED) chief Arun Mathur has landed the petitioners in trouble. They face charges of discipline and violating service rules.
Uttar Pradesh cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS) official Vijay Shankar Pandey, Indian Police Service (IPS) Jasvir Singh and Indian Institute of Technology`s S.K. Dube have filed a PIL in the Supreme Court against the ED director on grounds that he faced internal inquiries.
Mathur has denied the allegations.
Taking serious note of their move seeking the removal of another top civil servant of the union government, union Revenue Secretary Sumit Mitra has said there should be disciplinary action against them.
On April 22, Mitra wrote a "confidential" letter to his counterpart in the department of personnel and training (DOPT) stating that a "a writ petition (Civil No 37 of 2010) has been filed against the Union of India by members of a NGO called `India Rejuvenation Initiative` (IRI) claiming to be working to check corruption and restoration of probity and accountability in public life".
The officials have been accused of swearing in an affidavit against the government of India without the mandatory permission of their respective cadre controlling authorities, regarded as a serious violation of the All India Service Conduct Rules.
While pointing out that petitioners Pandey, Singh and Dubey were "serving government officials, presently holding important positions under the state and central governments", the letter said: "...while filing the petitions, the said officers did not disclose their respective positions held under the central and state governments".
The revenue secretary said this was "an act of grave indiscipline".
He said "the three officials, while in active government service, have been instrumental in filing a petition against the Government of India casting malicious aspersions on some if its serving officials. The officials against whom the allegations have been made by the petitioners, have filed affidavits in the Supreme Court denying all of them".
Mitra added that it was not whether "the three serving officials had taken clearances of their respective controlling authorities before filing the petition - indeed, the subsequent action of relieving V.S. Pandey and Jasveer Singh of their respective official positions by the government of UP, would indicate that these two officials had not done so.
"I would request you to kindly consider appropriate action against V.S. Pandey for violation of the provisions of Service Conduct Rules and I am endorsing copies of this letter to Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and Secretary, Ministry of HRD as well for appropriate action against the other two officials."
The petition was filed by the three men in their individual capacity, as members of India Rejuvenation Initiative (IRI), a voluntary body comprising retired and serving bureaucrats and others. It has sought removal of Mathur as ED director on the plea that he was facing internal inquiries against his conduct.
Pandey, who was a key member of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati`s coterie, was removed after the ED proceeded against him for alleged connections to Pune businessman Hasan Ali. The ED accused Pandey of links with the alleged scamster who is under the scanner for cheating the income tax department of more than Rs.50,000 crore.
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