Civil servants in UP are a perturbed lot. The reason: transfer and suspension spree in the state on one pretext or the other. The Chief Minister recently suspended District Magistrate, Gonda JB Singh, and DM Fatehpur, Kumar Prashant, over food grain scam, and non-purchase of wheat. Along with them, 10 junior officers were suspended. While issuing the suspension order, the Chief Minister said in a statement that the action was taken to send a strong message that this government will not spare even senior officials for any irregularities. While the controversy was being hotly debated in Lucknow, UP Governor, Ram Naik, wrote to Yogi Adityanath, and informed him about a complaint against his Principal Secretary, SP Goel, who allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs. 25 lakh to provide land for road-widening to set up a petrol pump in Hardoi. A national newspaper broke the story without verifying the facts with the concerned officer. In the article, Goel refuted the charge, stating, “This is ridiculous. I received the file only after the governor’s letter was received. I recused myself, did not deal with the case, and informed the chief minister about the same.” He added, “I am not aware of any decision taken on the issue.” A day after Adityanath suspended the two IAS officers, a delegation of the Uttar Pradesh IAS Association met Chief Secretary, Rajiv Kumar, and requested him to withdraw the suspension letters, as due procedure was not followed while issuing it. Secretary, UP IAS Association, Alok Kumar said that the delegation put forward the facts to prove that the two IAS officers were suspended in violation of the Service Rules. Thus, the order should be withdrawn. Corruption in UP is rampant, but the CM could have sought other ways to create adequate checks and balances.
VOL. 12 | ISSUE 3 | JUNE 2018