A section of bureaucracy in Madhya Pradesh is questioning the Department of Personnel and Training’s (DoPT) serving a charge-sheet on principal secretary K Suresh in connection with a disproportionate assets case on his retirement day.
Senior IAS officer from Madhya Pradesh, K Suresh retired on August 31 and was served the charge-sheet the same day. Suresh had served as FCI zonal manager in Chennai and thereafter as the chairman of the Chennai Port Trust from 2003 and 2009.
During this span, he was charged with amassing wealth disproportionate to his known source of income by the CBI while he was heading the trust. The department of personnel and training (DoPT) had launched a parallel internal inquiry in the case. Earlier, Suresh had challenged the CBI charge sheet in the same case in the Supreme Court, where the case is still pending.
Bureaucrats said the bone of contention was that the DoPT kept its charge sheet against Suresh for over seven years and chose to serve it on him on the last day of his retirement. The DoPT had reportedly prepared the charge sheet against Suresh just three days ahead of his retirement and had sent to under-secretary RK Verma for execution.
Sources said the DoPT official first tried to serve the notice on Suresh in person to which the latter refused citing rules and regulations. Later, the officials of the DoPT affixed the notice at his official residence on Monday.
However, some senior officials said that a departmental inquiry couldn’t be initiated if a criminal proceeding had already taken place against an officer. Some said that there was no need for an internal inquiry when the Central Vigilance Commission had already given Suresh a clean chit in the same case.
Retired chief secretary KS Sharma said, “This is not the proper way to deal with the situation. There was plenty of time and the officials of DoPT could have dealt it in a better manner.”
Sharma said that there could be several reasons behind the delay in serving the charge sheet. Another official said, “They (DoPT officials) should not have waited and rushed at the last moment. This is extremely unfortunate.”
K Suresh was not available for his comments.