Whistle blower Sanjiv Chaturvedi has accused the Haryana chief secretary of sitting over a state governor office’s query on the fate of its notification quashing some departmental charges against him. Indian Forest Service officer Chaturvedi, who had shot to fame as a whistle blower after exposing a scam involving an illegal construction inside Saraswati Wildlife Sanctuary in Kurukshetra and stopping it in 2009, had been charge-sheeted by the Haryana government in 2010 for allegedly violating the state government norms in stopping the construction.
“It is very surprising that on such an urgent matter, no response has been sent by your office,” Chaturvedi said in a letter to the state chief secretary. As per the Haryana government business rules, any matter involving Union of India needs to be responded to as early as possible, he pointed out in the letter. Chaturvedi has alleged that Chief Secretary Depinder Singh Dhesi has been sitting over the query from Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki’s office for over last four months.
Chaturvedi had claimed that he had stopped the construction activities in pursuance of a Supreme Court order that bars construction or mining activities in any protected forest areas without its permission. After he was charge-sheeted by the state government, he had made a representation to the erstwhile Union Cabinet Secretary, following which the Centre had constituted a two- member enquiry committee in August 2010 to ascertain the veracity of the state government charges against him.
Following its probe, the committee had concluded that the charges levelled against the 43-year-old IFS officer were not correct. The committee had also recommended CBI probe against some senior functionaries of the Haryana government. On the probe panel report, a presidential order was issued in January 2011 to quash the state government charge sheet against him. The order was accepted by the then governor in February 2011 through a notification.
Chaturvedi, subsequently in November 2017 had lodged a complaint with the Haryana governor, demanding action against the officers allegedly involved in concealing the state’s Raj Bhavan notification, accepting the presidential order for quashing of the departmental charge-sheet against him. In his complaint, Chaturvedi had alleged that the governor’s notification was shelved to shield some powerful politicians and bureaucrats from the CBI probe.
Chaturvedi’s complaint Governor Solanki’s secretariat last November sought the chief secretary’s response on the issue so that the matter can be placed before the governor. As per the Haryana government business rules, any matter involving controversy with Union of India needs to be responded to as early as possible. After accepting the presidential reference in 2011, the Harayana government, however, had backtracked from its earlier decision and moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court challenging the findings of two-member Central government’s committee.
Chaturvedi claimed in his letter to the chief secretary that the then government had concealed the governor’s notification in its writ petition to the high court. Chaturvedi’s IFS cadre had been changed from Haryana to Uttarakhand after protracted legal and bureaucratic battle, in August 2015.