Senior PCS officer Harishanker Pandey,who had unearthed a multi-crore scam in the Rural Engineering Department (RED) last year,sought voluntary retirement after he was served a charge-sheet for disciplinary action against him on Monday.
However,a state government spokesperson told the media that voluntary retirement cannot be sanctioned once departmental action has been initiated.
Pandey,a 1978-batch PCS officer,submitted his six-page resignation letter to Principal Secretary,Appointment,Rajeev Kumar,and left office in the afternoon. Pandey was presently posted as Special Secretary in the National Integration Department. He had earlier been denied promotion to the IAS cadre in 2012 and was due to retire in 2014.
I will not reconsider my decision. I cannot do my job in this manner. It is all linked to the inquiries conducted by me. When I was special secretary in the RED,I had exposed a scam to the tune of Rs 1,600 crore in the department. As a result,I was transferred. Now I have been served a notice, Pandey said.
The notice was meant to scuttle his voice and demoralise him,he said. The government is shielding the culprits and taking action against me, Pandey added.
Earlier,in his inquiry report on the RED,Pandey had recommended removal of Uma Shanker,the department director,for fudging his date of birth to avail of an extension,and financial misappropriation during his tenure as ad hoc director of the department. Pandey had also facing disciplinary action,whistleblower UP PCS officer seeks voluntary retirement recommended complete audit of works in the RED between 2007-12 during the BSP regime. Pandey was transferred after he submitted his report.
In his handwritten resignation letter,Pandey mentioned that he had received an order from the office of Principal Secretary,Appointment,Rajeev Kumar for disciplinary action for fudging government records,presenting inquiry reports overlooking government rules and orders and being indisciplined.
I performed my duty sincerely but now the government is accusing me of fudging records, he said. I am insulted that such charges have been levelled against me without any explanation. It is a bid to stigmatise my whole career, he wrote in the letter.
He also requested to be relieved from service on Monday afternoon. It is not possible for me to work in such circumstances. There is no point in reconsidering the decision,I cannot continue with my job like this, Pandey said.
An official spokesperson of the state government said that voluntary retirement cannot be sanctioned once departmental action is initiated. As per rules,the information for voluntary retirement should have been given three months prior to the appointing authority and no disciplinary action should be pending against him. He is considering himself relieved from the post in anticipation of acceptance of the voluntary retirement request from today itself, stated the official press release.
The spokesperson said that Pandey had been served a charge-sheet for fudging records in a file of the RED and concealing facts from senior officials. The charges also include presenting a one-sided inquiry report overlooking the rules and misleading remarks in government records.
Principal Secretary,Sugarcane,Rahul Bhatnagar has been given the responsibility for the inquiry against Pandey.