A senior Maharashtra bureaucrat has been asked to appear before the police following a complaint against him under the stringent Atrocities Act.
Police have sought a written statement from Additional Chief Secretary Bhagwan Sahai, who heads the state’s general administration department, after an under-secretary with the public health department registered a complaint against him under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocity) Act.
Inspector B N Pawar of Marine Drive police station said, “We have written to Sahai seeking his statement.”
Ashok Uike, the complainant, has also approached the state and central SC/ST commissions against Sahai.
Castribe, a state level organisation of backward class employees, has also taken up Uike’s case with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Chief Secretary Jageshwar Saharia.
The row pertains to promotion of Uike and 14 other SC/ST employees, sources said. Uike said he had documents obtained under the Right to Information Act, which show that Sahai “acted with deliberate intent” to delay and deny their promotions.
The bone of contention is a departmental inquiry which was initiated against Uike and the others after the CID registered a case against them in a cooperative society matter. “Our names were cleared under both inquiries. A Thane court also absolved us of all charges, following which we approached the government for our promotions that had been kept on hold pending the departmental probe.”
Uike’s contention against Sahai has said that he kept inking negative remarks on the promotion file arguing that an appeal had been filed in the Thane court. “While the appeal is pending, no stay has been granted on the Thane courts order,” Uike said.
“Former chief secretary Jayant Kumar Banthia and the current CS Jageshwar Saharia have both said it would not be right to hold back promotions as the departmental probe had cleared us of all charges. The RTI documents however show that Sahai, however, continued to ink negative remarks on the promotion file. Even Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had approved an earlier observation by Banthia in this regard,” Uike said.
Sahai remained unavailable for comment.
Inspector Pawar said the police would seek legal counsel after Sahai’s statement to decide on whether to go ahead with the FIR.