Days after a taped conversation between Chhindwara additional district magistrate (ADM) Alok Shrivastava and his boss, collector MC Choudhary, found its way into the media, the Jabalpur divisional commissioner suspended the former on Wednesday on charges of misconduct.
In the audio tape, Choudhary can be heard telling Shrivastava to act on a complaint against certain people, which he refuses saying it is wrong.
Incidentally, a person called MP Vishwakarma had filed a complaint against Choudhary for flying the national flag upside down on the Independence Day, following which the Chhindwara collector filed a counter-complaint. The people against whom Choudhary was seeking action in the clip were Vishwakarma and two journalists, Satish Godane and RS Verma.
During the conversation, when Shrivastava says he will not act against the three, the collector tells the ADM that he is not fit for the post.
In the suspension notice, divisional commissioner Gulshan Bamra has held Shrivastava accountable for the audio clip leak, and also for pressurizing subordinates to pay for a party that the ADM had hosted, serving liquor in violation of excise norms.
“I am not guilty of any charge against me,” said Shrivastava. “All calls get recorded in my phone. I have not released the recording to the media. I cannot keep an eye on who has my phone all the time,” he said, adding “the collector MC Choudhary is angry with me.”
Choudhary had been removed as Chhindwara collector at the behest of the Election Commission in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections in 2014, after complaints were made that he was favouring the BJP candidate. However, he was posted back as the collector after the model code of conduct was lifted, showing his clout in the government.
In Bhopal, meanwhile, the MP state administrative service association suspended Shrivastava from its membership. “The association does not support such acts as recording of official conversations,” said Vinod Chaturvedi, the association’s vice president.