The Punjab government has slapped a chargesheet on senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Chandrasekhar Srivastava, holding him guilty of illegally recruiting a naib tehsildar in 2004.
Srivastava (58), a 1979-batch IAS officer, who will superannuate in November 2013, is presently holding the "inconsequential" charge of secretary, lokpal. The chargesheet was issued to the officer on September 14, government sources said.
As per the chargesheet, while posed as Patiala divisional commissioner, Srivastava had allegedly appointed one Gursimran Singh as naib tehsildar in violation of the recruitment rules.
The appointment was given on the grounds that Gursimran was an adopted son of Punjab Police Service (PPS) officer Balkar Singh Sidhu, a gallantry award-winner. But in August 2006, the appointment was quashed by then Patiala divisional commissioner Anjali Bhawra.
When contacted, Srivastava said he was not yet aware of the government issuing a chargesheet against him. "Earlier, the government had sought a reply from me, which I had duly given. I will respond to the chargesheet also as and when I receive it," he added.
The state government has given 21 days to the IAS officer to respond to the chargesheet, which points out that neither there was any policy in place to appoint an adopted son of a gallantry award-winning cop nor were documents available on record to ascertain if the appointee was actually the adopted son of the PPS officer.
Besides, the chargesheet states that Srivastava had adopted a "pick and choose policy" in the appointment in question even as direct recruitment of naib tehsildars was banned.
The chargesheet is likely to cast a shadow over Srivastava's prospects of picking up the long overdue grade of the chief secretary, which has been given even to officers of a his one batch junior. The chargesheet has been issued at a time when the government is planning to hold a meeting to decide Srivastava's chief secretary-grade case. The chief secretary is heading a three-member committee, which includes a chief secretary-grade officer of the Punjab cadre posted at the Centre and a chief secretary-grade officer posted in the state as members.