CHIEF MINISTER Uddhav Thackeray has ordered Wednesday a disciplinary inquiry against a 1985-batch IAS officer Arvind Kumar over alleged use of foul language and levelling allegations on WhatsApp against senior colleagues. Kumar has also been relieved as the additional chief secretary (ACS) in the state Rural Development department.
On Wednesday, the Thackeray-led General Administration department issued Kumar a show-cause notice on why action should not be taken against him for misconduct.
On October 19, Kumar was forcibly removed from an official WhatsApp group of secretary-grade IAS officers after he allegedly used foul language and made unsubstantiated allegations on the group against three former chief secretaries and a serving bureaucrat. Kumar is also alleged to have levelled allegations against these officials on another official WhatsApp group, comprising young IAS officers who are serving as Chief Executive Officers of Zilla Parishads in the state.
According to sources, the CM ordered a disciplinary action after senior state officials pointed out this is not the first occasion when Kumar had used “objectionable and intemperate” language against fellow officials on the WhatsApp group.
“He is an intelligent officer. So, he was let off with a warning on previous occasions. But he appears to have crossed all limits this time around,” a senior official said. The officials claimed the accusations hurled against the senior colleagues were “wild” and “unsubstantiated”.
At least a couple of former chief secretaries, sources said, had lodged complaints against Kumar. Some senior officials had also argued that his behaviour was “unacceptable”.
Kumar has been pulled up for bad behaviour in the past as well. In 2007, he was placed under suspension when he was an observer in Uttar Pradesh and had snatched a rifle from a BSF constable, but an inquiry conducted into the incident had later exonerated him. During the previous Devendra Fadnavis regime, Kumar had faced complaints of misconduct following which he was relegated to side postings.
When contacted, Kumar confirmed to have received the show-cause notice, while saying that he didn’t wish to comment on the matter in the media.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines