Outgoing IAS officer ‘dismisses’ whistleblower, doesn’t succeed | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Outgoing IAS officer ‘dismisses’ whistleblower, doesn’t succeed

In a blatantly ‘illegal’ move, the outgoing secretary of Punjab State Technical Education Board, Gurdev Singh Ghumman, who had been divested of the charge on Monday after a vigilance probe was ordered against him, ‘dismissed’ from service the whistleblower who had taken the lid off his alleged ‘misdeeds’.

chandigarh Updated: Apr 08, 2015 12:20 IST
Chitleen K Sethi

In a blatantly ‘illegal’ move, the outgoing secretary of Punjab State Technical Education Board, Gurdev Singh Ghumman, who had been divested of the charge on Monday after a vigilance probe was ordered against him, ‘dismissed’ from service the whistleblower who had taken the lid off his alleged ‘misdeeds’.


Ghumman, a 2006 batch IAS officer, is under transfer following an inquiry by the vigilance department for allegedly claiming false travel allowance, among other things.

The whistleblower, who requested anonymity, said he received a four-page dismissal letter from the secretary on Tuesday morning. The dismissal letter stated that he had been working in the board on ‘false grounds of appointment and promotion’ and his services were being dispensed with.

Interestingly, Ghumman is not the appointing authority of the ‘dismissed’ officer who reports directly to the board chairman RK Verma.

Ghumman sent the dismissal letter to the chairman later in the day for post facto approval (approval after the decision has been taken). The chairman, however, did not approve of the dismissal. Sources added that the secretary of the board could not have taken such a decision when he was being transferred. Such a decision is considered both improper and illegal.

Principal secretary technical education MP Singh said, “What Ghumman did is outrageous. He is under transfer following an inquiry. I have asked the chairman to rectify the move.”

Officer faces another probe

Other than the fresh probe ordered against Ghumman by the Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday, he is also facing a probe into allegations of having amassed wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income.

IG vigilance bureau B Chandra Shekhar, who is investigating the disproportionate assets case, has been entrusted with the fresh inquiry against Ghumman.

The vigilance probe against Ghumman was ordered in the wake of an HT report highlighting the manner in which Ghumman had allegedly indulged in several irregularities as board secretary.

A fact-finding report submitted by principal secretary MP Singh following the HT report states that the officer (Ghumman) undertook 13 trips to New Delhi during his tenure as secretary for which a Sector-17 based travel agency was paid `10.75 lakh by the board as reimbursement.

“It can be seen that the bills submitted by the travel agent that the officer’s stay was in 5-star hotels like The Leela, The Oberoi, The Lalit, The Hyatt Regency etc. Generally, an officer of the Punjab government on an official trip to New Delhi is supposed to try to stay in the Punjab Bhawan. In case of unavailability of rooms, he can go to private hotels subject to his entitlement as specified by the government. This has not been followed by the officer as none of the claims submitted by him as per record make any mention about it. This matter is serious and needs to be thoroughly looked into by checking the records of the hotels concerned and the officers and offices where Ghumman went for the meeting…claims submitted by the travel agency are vague and leave scope for manipulation/fake entries/wrong facts,” states the report.

“Almost all these trips to Delhi were made without the formal approval of the chairman which should have been taken, the tours being outside the state,” adds the report.

INQUIRIES AND MORE

Outgoing secretary of Punjab State Technical Education Board, Gurdev Singh Ghumman, ‘dismissed’ a whistleblower on Tuesday morning.

Ghumman sent the dismissal letter to the chairman later in the day for post facto approval (approval after the decision has been taken). The chairman, however, did not approve of the decision.

Ghumman is under transfer following an inquiry by the vigilance department for allegedly claiming false travel allowance, among other things.

Other than the fresh probe ordered against Ghumman by the Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday, he is also facing a probe into allegations of having amassed wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income.