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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

Akhilesh's Durga dilemma: to support IAS officer or not?

Umesh Raghuvanshi, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, August 03, 2013
First Published: 00:33 IST(3/8/2013) | Last Updated: 16:36 IST(3/8/2013)

UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav is now in a difficult situation over the suspension of Gautam Buddha Nagar sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Durga Shakti Nagpal.

The problem is this: if he sticks to his position that his decision to suspend he is correct, the Centre or the courts may intervene; and if revokes the suspension order, he faces the danger of being called ‘weak’.

The state government continues to take the stand that it will follow the rulebook. Officers are preparing a chargesheet to be served on the suspended officer to justify the state government’s action.

“We are preparing the chargesheet to be served on Nagpal. According to the provisions of the All India Service Rules, the state government is required to serve the chargesheet on her within 45 days of placing her under suspension,” a senior officer said.

An administrative inquiry to probe the role of Nagpal and her seniors including the district magistrate of Gautam Buddha Nagar (in demolishing the wall of a religious place) is another option being considered by the state government.

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Yadav had reversed several of his decisions such as directing shopping malls to close early to save power or allowing the use of “Vidhayak Nidhi” funds to buy luxury cars for legislators.

Sources said the chief minister is upset over the Uttar Pradesh IAS Association’s move to take up the suspension issue. He has conveyed his displeasure publicly.

“We have been instrumental in activating the association. It had remained in hibernation in the past and did not even react to death of an IAS officer. It is yet to be ascertained whether he committed suicide or was murdered,” the chief minister said.

His observations have evoked strong reactions from the IAS officers. “Does he want to take Uttar Pradesh back to the days of the previous regime — considered to be a black chapter in the association’s history,” an officer said.


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