Taking cognizance of a plea by Indian Forest Service officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has sought comments from the health ministry on his removal from the post of the chief vigilance officer (CVO) of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
In August, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan ordered the removal of Chaturvedi as CVO after BJP MP J P Nadda demanded his ouster.
The row over his removal prompted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to seek a report from the ministry. Harsh Vardhan justified Chaturvedi’s ouster saying the CVC had twice rejected the officer’s name for the post.
In his petition, Chaturvedi urged the CVC to refer back to the ministry the letter ordering his removal. Saying facts had been concealed, he sought a CBI probe into the matter. On October 22, the CVC wrote to the joint secretary and CVO of the ministry, seeking an early response.
In his three representations to the CVC — on August 26, September 15 and 19 — Chaturvedi claimed that Nadda’s June 24 letter to Harsh Vardhan not only sought his removal from the post of the AIIMS CVO but also proposed the name of his replacement, asked to put on hold all inquiries/disciplinary proceedings initiated by Chaturvedi, and even recommended that he be repatriated to his parent cadre Haryana.
The BJP MP was said to have followed up his letter by meeting the Health Minister. In a letter on August 14, the ministry conveyed to the CVC its decision to remove Chaturvedi, claiming that AIIMS was yet to convey the approval of its governing body (GB) and institute body (IB) for creation of a separate post of CVO.
In his representations, Chaturvedi alleged that the ministry concealed statutory approvals granted for creation of the post of the AIIMS CVO by the GB in November 2010 and by the IB in January 2012, and commitments made by the ministry to a parliamentary committee in June 2012 and January 2013.
Demanding a CBI probe under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and sections of IPC related to forgery, Chaturvedi urged the CVC to protect him from what he called a witch hunt.