The Delhi government has broken its silence over the controversy stoked by the removal of Indian Post and Telecommunication Finance Service (IP&TAFS) officer Ashish Joshi from the Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC) and his subsequent repatriation from the Delhi government to the union ministry of communications and information technology.
In a statement issued on Saturday, it said, “Delhi government takes strong exception to the attempts to trivialise the reasons for relieving Mr Ashish Joshi from the additional charge of member-secretary of Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC) and his repatriation to parent cadre.”
The Indian Express had reported on Saturday that the government, in a letter to the telecom secretary towards the end of April, forwarded a note sent by DDC vice-chairman Ashish Khetan to DDC chairman, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, which said that “on several occasions, he (Joshi) has been found smoking cigars and chewing tobacco within office premises”.
”This was mentioned in the note written by the DDC vice-chairman to the chief minister but this was not a reason for Joshi’s repatriation. The reasons are far too serious,” a government official said.
The government’s statement read, “The officer concerned is supposed to be aware of the conduct rules of service. There are clear instances of multiple violations of these rules by this officer, which have now been duly communicated to his parent cadre.”
The removal of Joshi’s additional charge as member-secretary DDC and his subsequent repatriation to the central government were ridden with controversy as Joshi, in an email written to Delhi chief secretary K K Sharma, had stated that members of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had misbehaved with him on March 29. On April 17, the Delhi government issued marching orders to Joshi.
In its first official statement issued over a month after the controversy broke, the Kejriwal-led government said: “Normally the government does not react to insinuations by individuals, but in the present case since the officer concerned has been running a systematic vilification campaign against the Delhi government based on false allegations and twisted facts, the government has decided to make a public statement.”
Delhi government has apprised the Central government department concerned about the specific instances of misconduct and misbehaviour by Joshi, his attempts to interfere in the functioning of various government departments and adverse comments made by him against senior officials.”
Joshi had again written to Sharma after he was asked to return to his parent cadre, questioning the manner in which he was repatriated.
He had asked the chief secretary if the action was taken with his concurrence.
The Delhi government, however, stated, “He (Joshi) also appears to be spreading confusion about his deputation from the Centre to Delhi government. Deputation is an arrangement between lending and accepting departments of the officer concerned, which can be discontinued in cases of disagreements and lack of faith in a particular officer. The officer concerned is free to represent his grievances to his parent cadre, but spreading canards about the Delhi government based on false allegations is clearly professional misconduct.”
The government also accused Joshi of making unsuccessful attempts to contact officers through e-mail and on telephone since his repatriation.
“All these attempts by this officer appear to be aimed at diverting attention and spreading confusion to avoid the truth from being known to the world,” it said.