Had the Samajwadi Party (SP) government listened to and acted on the party national president Mulayam Singh Yadav’s reprimand on several government officers holding multiple important posts, then it could have forestalled the serious observations and order that the Allahabad high court delivered on Friday.
A two-judge bench of the high court, responding to a “writ petition filed by a public spirited person” has ordered “no officer shall be given charge of more than one post at the same station unless officers in the same cadre are not available or for some temporary period are not available at the same station. However, this arrangement shall be temporary and would cease as soon as non-availability goes.”
The order is for the posts in the education department in the state, but the court has mentioned such a thing being a trend elsewhere in the government as well.
Jitendra Kumar Goel had filed the writ petition. The court observed:
“A strange but typical practice, frequently observed by state government and particularly education department, where a single person is given charge of more than one post and sometimes of two different departments, which results, not only in eroding and reducing efficiency of these persons in performance of such posts but also causes serious prejudice to the general public and loss to public exchequer, in as much as, due to deficient performance on all such posts, various public works of general and special interest suffer.”
Goel, in his petition, had pointed out that the education department had four sanctioned ranks of director held by four persons but Vasudeo Yadav holds two posts of the same rank — director, secondary education and also director, basic education.
While Amar Nath Verma, who is also in the rank and grade of director, has not been given any post.
The court also observed that the practice was not confined to the top posts of directors, but even for lower cadres.
Mahendra Singh Yadav, district inspector of schools (DIOS), Allahabad, has four charges of DIOS-I, DIOS-II, at Allahabad and also holds the post of regional assistant director of basic education, Allahabad, and the post of principal, District Institute of Education and Training (DIET).
Similar are the cases of Komal Yadav, and Chandrajeet Yadav. Komal is DIOS-I, DIOS-II, Kanpur Nagar and the district basic education officer, Kanpur Nagar. Chandrajeet Yadav is holding two posts—DIOS-I and DIOSII, Varanasi.
The court also directed the government: “if there was deficiency of officers in the cadre, the state government, if it finds necessary to give charge of more than one office to one or more officers, it shall follow existing seniority, whatever it is, for the said purpose and officer(s) working on lower cadre/posts shall not be given charge of higher cadre(s), if an officer in equivalent post or cadre is available.”
The court said: “The state government has clearly acted with favouritism and nepotism… and all such postings made, are wholly illegal and arbitrary”.
The court has asked the government to review all such matters and pass appropriate orders consistent with the directions (issued by the court) within one month from the date of communication of the order, and submit compliance report to the court within the next fortnight.
Apart from the cases mentioned by the petitioner to the court, some education department officers say there were many similar ones in the education department.
Some SP MLAs and workers had complained of such cases in various departments to Mulayam Singh Yadav and the latter had asked the government to check it.