Mohammad Shayin was unceremoniously removed from the post of Chandigarh deputy commissioner (DC), four months before the end of his tenure, late on Tuesday evening.
While rumours flew that the 2002-batch Haryana-cadre IAS officer was repatriated after an altercation between him and a senior IAS colleague, Shayin outright denied any physical confrontation. On his part, as “immediate reason”, Shayin cited a letter he had written to the UT adviser Vijay Kumar Dev over “improper orders and conduct” of agriculture secretary K Narsimha, a senior IAS officer of the 1991 batch from the AGMUT cadre.
“This (removal) is happening at whims and fancies of a set of officers. Even the Union ministry of home affairs has not been taken into confidence,” he claimed. Seen to be at loggerheads with Vijay Dev at several instances, a “shocked” Shayin alleged that he had simply become a victim of “vendetta” and “inter-cadre discrimination against Haryana officers”.
He said K Narsimha had been “interfering” in matters of the Chandigarh State Agriculture Marketing Board and had even renewed licences of over 170 traders in the Sector-26 mandi “which was not proper as per rules”.
This is the first instance in recent decades that a Chandigarh DC has had to lose his post in this fashion ahead of the end of tenure.
DEEPAK TO TAKE CHARGE
As per the orders issued by UT administrator Kaptan Singh Solanki, special secretary (home) SB Deepak Kumar would be the DC until a full-time incumbent is appointed. UT administrator’s adviser Vijay Kumar Dev did not reply to text messages, though Deepak confirmed that he would be taking charge as DC on Wednesday.
Interestingly, it was Deepak who was probing the allegedly illegal appointment of Shayin’s former personal secretary Punam Malik as secretary of the Chandigarh market committee. There had then been speculation that the DC could be suspended if he did not reply in time, though he had later got a breather after he removed Malik from the post.
Then, about a month ago, Deepak confirmed reports that the administration had sought a panel of officers from Haryana to choose a new DC. There had been loaded silence on that matter ever since.
DEV, AND BEFORE THAT
Adviser Dev was seen as being at loggerheads with Shayin particularly after ‘leaked’ news reports about a `2-crore renovation at the adviser’s residence in March.
A more recent incident was of a Haryana officer, reportedly close to Shayin, complaining of misbehaviour by an IAS officer working closely with Dev.
However, Shayin is known for controversies otherwise too. These ranged from his wife, an Indian Audit and Accounts officer, slapping his then-PS, Punam Malik, at his office in full public view; to Punjab Civil Services officer Amandeep Kaur alleging mental harassment. Amandeep had also questioned how Malik, again, had been appointed joint secretary of Red Cross.
Councillor and advocate Satinder Singh too had filed several complaints, including that of defamation, against Shayin.