Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written to the Prime Minister pressing for deputing Sanjiv Chaturvedi as his OSD in “larger public interest” and said he was “surprised” by the rejection of his request by the Centre which “never properly utilised” the IFS officer’s services.
The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) had recently declined the proposal for inter-cadre deputation of Chaturvedi from Uttarakhand to the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, saying he had not completed the mandatory cooling-off period of three years.
Strongly pitching for Chaturvedi’s induction as his OSD for “welfare of Delhi”, Kejriwal contended, in his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, that as per DoPT instructions, the criteria of cooling-off period was to be exempted for an official who is to be appointed as “personal staff”.
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The Delhi Chief Minister had first made the request for posting the Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer as his OSD to the Centre in February last year.
“It has been a settled practice of our democratic polity that whenever an officer is required as personal staff by any CM or Minister, of any government, the same is deputed accordingly, irrespective of political differences.
“However, I am surprised to know that after an inordinate delay of 16 months, which included four directions of Honourable Court, the request has been finally rejected by ACC,” Kejriwal wrote in the letter, dated July 3.
After his induction into the service, Chaturvedi was allocated Haryana cadre. However, he sought change in the cadre citing “extreme personal hardship”. The ACC had approved the inter-cadre transfer of Chaturvedi from Haryana to Uttarakhand in August 2015.
However, in February this year, Uttarakhand government rejected a representation of Chaturvedi seeking a No-Objection Certificate for inter-cadre deputation and stated “if government of India grants waiver of cooling off condition, Uttarakhand has no-objection for inter-cadre deputation”.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) had informed ACC that Chaturvedi was yet to serve in his new parent cadre i.e. Uttarakhand.
In the letter, Kejriwal lamented that services of Chaturvedi, a former AIIMS CVO, were never utilised properly by the central government or the state government despite his reputation of “integrity and efficiency” which brought him laurels, including the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award.
“Regarding the so called criteria of cooling off, it has been clearly mentioned in DoPT instructions, dated 26.05.14, that this criteria will be exempted for the officer appointed as personal staff.
“In view of facts mentioned above, I request you to kindly once again consider for inter-cadre deputation of Chaturvedi, in a more sympathetic manner, in the larger public interest, for the welfare of people of Delhi,” Kejriwal said.
As per rules, an officer can get central deputation or inter-cadre deputation only after the concurrence from both the state government concerned (the cadre state of the officer) and the Centre. Further, an officer must serve three years cooling off period between the two central deputation tenure.