Sanjay R Bhoosreddy has stood up to pressure from political groups and paid for it. Right from being deputed to inconsequential posts to coming close to being thrown out on the streets, the secretary of the All India IAS Association talks to Aloke Tikku how his young colleague Durga Shakti Nagpal's suspension has come to stand for everything that ails the existing system. Excerpts:
Durga Shakti Nagpal's suspension wasn't really an exception, was it?
This has been happening for many years. Fortunately this case got highlighted but it goes beyond a particular officer. Such things have been happening since 1985, picked up pace from the early 1990s and accelerated from the beginning of the last decade.
Now when field officers across all Services enforce the Rule of Law, they obviously hurt vested interests. Earlier these groups could just complain or get the officer transferred. Now, they are trying to destroy the legal and federal administrative structure by damaging officers to ensure that other civil servants will not dare to enforce the Rule of Law.
What are you seeking from the Centre?
The system will have to ensure such honest, well-meaning officers are given the space, environment and freedom to discharge their duties without fear or favour. Then only, can they uphold the law. If you create an element of fear in them, how do you expect them to stand up to powerful groups for the rights of the underprivileged.
Will the safeguards not help the corrupt too?
I don't say everyone is honest. There may be black sheep in the system. The law is adequate to penalise them but they aren't getting punished. Instead, the honest and sincere officers get transferred, suspended and punished. That is why there is a need to revisit the law.