Published On: Thu, Apr 19th, 2018

CAT rejects plea to remove cabinet secretary as party in case filed by whistle-blower IFS officer

New Delhi: The Central Administrative Tribunal has rejected a plea seeking the removal of the name of Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha as one of the respondents in a case filed by whistle-blower forest service officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi.

Whistle-blower IFS officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi alleged that the cabinet secretary did not follow orders of the PMO.

The tribunal was hearing a case contesting the rejection of representations made by Chaturvedi against unsatisfactory assessment of his annual performance appraisal report (APAR) by officers concerned during his tenure at All India Institute of Medical Sciences here.

Chaturvedi worked as chief vigilance officer ? who acts as a distant arm of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to check corruption in government departments ? and deputy secretary between June 2012 and June 2016.

He exposed corrupt practices at the premier institute during his tenure.

Chaturvedi has filed a case against the cabinet secretary, secretary of CVC, AIIMS director, Union Heath Minister J P Nadda, former AIIMS director M C Mishra and ex-deputy director AIIMS, V Srinivas, and others.

Counsels appearing for the respondents stated before the CAT that according to the rules the cabinet secretary has no role in preparation and communication of APAR of the applicant and the “applicant has wrongly and illegally impleaded cabinet secretary”.

Chaturvedi, a 2002-batch Indian Forest Service (IFoS) officer of Uttarakhand cadre, in his reply denied the averments and contentions made by the respondents.

The CAT, in its order on Tuesday, said the selection of the applicant in AIIMS was done with the recommendation or approval of the cabinet secretary. It also noted that some of the prayers made by the applicant are against cabinet secretary.

Hence, the application moved by the applicants for deletion of the name of the respondent ? cabinet secretary – “from the array of party/respondents is rejected”, said the order of Nainital-based circuit bench of the tribunal.

Chaturvedi has challenged the order of January 11, 2017, issued by AIIMS by which APAR for financial year 2015-16 was communicated.

He had challenged the order dated March 20, 2017, issued by the accepting authority by which representation of the applicant preferred against the APAR of 2015-16 was rejected.

The CAT also rejected the contention of the central government that Chaturvedi has not exhausted all remedies and that he should have gone to referral board headed by cabinet secretary after rejection of representation by the Union health minister.

The tribunal held that Chaturvedis petition is maintainable and fixed May 22 as the next date of hearing.

The Prime Ministers Office in 2012 asked the cabinet secretary to “satisfy himself thoroughly” before taking any decision over shifting of Chaturvedi from AIIMS.

“…Cabinet Secretary may satisfy himself thoroughly before taking any decision…,” said the note from the PMO.

Chaturvedi alleged that the cabinet secretary did not follow orders of the PMO.

PTI

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