The controversy over the NDA government targeting Indian Forest Service officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi has been further stoked with the officer submitting to the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) contentious orders by the Prime Minister-headed Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) to show an alleged bias against him.
Chaturvedi has submitted over a dozen orders by ACC where inter-state deputations were allowed after relaxation of conditions and also on the basis of original approvals by the state governments. He, on the other hand, was asked by ACC to seek fresh consent from both states for change of his cadre from Haryana to Uttarakhand. The ACC had in January asked Chaturvedi to obtain fresh approvals from both states on the ground that the government in Haryana had changed. This order has been stayed by the tribunal.
Chaturvedi came in the crosshairs of Haryana government for alleging corruption by ministers and bureaucrats. He was later removed as the chief vigilance officer at AIIMS two years before the end of his tenure, reportedly on a request by then BJP MP and now Union Minister J P Nadda. Citing threats to his life, he had sought a permanent change of cadre from Haryana to Uttarakhand, but ACC said the governments of the two states must approve it.
In his affidavit, Chaturvedi has produced records to show that between May 29, 2014 and March 25, 2015, ACC decided around 29 cases of inter-state deputations. Of this, Chaturvedi claimed, in at least 14 cases the policy was violated and officers were allowed to be transferred after relaxing conditions.
Further, in several cases, applicants’ requests were allowed on basis of the consent obtained during a different regime and they were not asked to procure fresh approvals after a new political party had come to power.
“These facts itself prove beyond doubt the discriminatory manner in which inter-cadre deputation cases are being decided in total disregard to the laid down policy and also the way in which the case of the applicant was handled despite fulfilling all the statutory requirements,” he contended.
Chaturvedi, referring to ACC’s decision in other cases, said the maximum time taken to decide was around two months whereas in his case the request by the cadre-controlling ministry to the DoPT remained pending since July 2014 and in January 2015 he was asked to get fresh consent from the two state governments.