Updated: February 14, 2020 9:51:25 am
Rajya Sabha has demoted an officer for sharing “offensive, derogatory, demeaning and sarcastic posts on social media” against the Prime Minister and some Union ministers and Chief Ministers.
Urujul Hasan, deputy director (security), who is under suspension, was penalised after disciplinary proceedings against him.
“Consequent upon conclusion of the disciplinary proceeding initiated against Shri Urujul Hasan… on charges of sharing several offensive, derogatory, demeaning and sarcastic posts on social media against the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India and some Union ministers and chief ministers, as also sharing a number of posts indicating his active involvement/assistance/indulgence in political activities, canvassing in connection with an election to the legislature, failure to maintain political neutrality etc,” according to the order signed by K Sudhakaran, director (personnel), Rajya Sabha Secretariat.
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu imposed the penalty of “reduction to the lower grade of security officer for a period of five years”, the order states.
The demotion will also postpone “future increments of his pay falling due in this period”, and after the five-year period is over, Hasan will not regain his original seniority, the order states. This amounts to a “major penalty” in service parlance.
The demotion came into effect from February 10. Sources in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat said Hasan had been under suspension for the last nine or 10 months pending disciplinary proceedings. Action was taken under Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964, and Rule 14 of Rajya Sabha Secretariat (Recruitment and Conditions of Service) Rules, 1957.
What the service rules say
Rajya Sabha rules, 1957, and Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules bar employees from taking part in any activity considered “unbecoming of a government servant”. The CCS rules lay down that “no government servant shall be a member of, or be otherwise associated with, any political party or any organisation which takes part in politics, nor shall he take part in, subscribe in aid of, or assist in any other manner, any political movement or activity”. They also say, “No government servant shall canvass or otherwise interfere with, or use his influence in connection with or take part in an election to any legislature or local authority.”
Hasan was not available for a comment. The person who answered his phone identified himself as his “brother” and said he would “convey the message.”
Sources said Hasan had shared some tweets deemed derogatory to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others on his Facebook page. The posts were later deleted. Hasan was suspended pending completion of inquiry. The matter, a source said, was viewed “very seriously”.
“In a 2018 case involving a Tamil Nadu MLA, the Madras High Court had said that any post forwarded (on social media) amounts to agreeing with it and endorsing it,” the source said. “What is said is important, but who said it is even more important; people go by the status of the person speaking, the court had observed. Moreover, multiple service rules had been violated (by Hasan).”
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