Govt seeks legal view on UGC officer’s sacking | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Govt seeks legal view on UGC officer’s sacking

delhi Updated: Apr 25, 2008 02:07 IST
Chetan Chauhan

The department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) is seeking a legal view on whether the decision of the University Grants Commission to sack Raju Sharma, an IAS officer, from the post of the secretary was valid or not.

The UGC last week had decided to repatriate Sharma back to his parent cadre - Uttar Pradesh - even though the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) had appointed him.

Now, the DoPT, the department that manages Indian Administrative Service officers in India, has swung into action after Sharma sought the department's direction on further action he should take after his repatriation. He has submitted UGC's repatriation orders along with his appointment for the post of secretary as approved by the ACC to DoPT. Normally, only the Union cabinet can alter ACC's decision.

Acting on Sharma's representation, the department now wants to know whether an autonomous government organization can undo a Cabinet decision without taking the government's prior approval. The department is likely to seek UGC's comments on the controversial sacking soon, sources told HT .

Sharma also reportedly told the government that UGC was not following government procedures on implementation of policies and projects. Although loopholes in implementation of e-governance project were cited as a major area of concern, he had pointed gaps in giving approvals to Deemed Universities and disbursement of funds. "There was a huge vacuum in the functioning of UGC," a HRD ministry official, who was not willing to be quoted on the controversial issue, said.

UGC chairperson Professor SK Thorat was not available for comments.

HRD ministry's finance officer SK Ray, who had raised objections on the methodology of implementation of the e-governance project has backed Sharma. Under the project, the commission wants to connect all Central universities for faster disbursal of funds and initiating the government's reform agenda.