THE MINISTRY of Defence has objected to postings of District Sainik Welfare Officers (DSWOs) in Bhopal, Tikamgarh and Chhindwara, urging Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to immediately replace them.
In a letter to Chouhan, Director-General Resettlement, Major General Harwant Krishan, has pointed out that these appointments were made against the guidelines of the Ministry.
Alleging that the incumbent officers have developed vested interests, the D-G has forwarded to the State Government names of young officers for appointment as DSWOs. The Chief Minister has appointed some of these officers.
According to the letter, retired officers who got extension in contravention to the Defence Ministry guidelines include Lt Col G P Dubey DSWO, Tikamgarh, Lt Col A K Saxena, DSWO, Chhindwara; and Lt Col S C Dixit, DSWO Bhopal.
The D-G highlighted the fact that some of the DSWOs are misusing their offices by quietly getting extensions from the State Government beyond age and tenure limit against the guidelines, on the grounds that the organisation cannot do without them.
He also requested Chief Secretary Rakesh Sahni to take early action to replace the above DSWOs who have taken extensions beyond prescribed age limit/maximum length of tenure.
Referring to the MoD guidelines, he said that DSWOs are required to be employed on tenure basis initially for two years and extendable by two years at a time subject to satisfactory performance. But in no case extendable beyond a total of six years or 60 years of age whichever is earlier.
However, the letter said, in case of three DSWOs, both limits of 60 years age and maximum of six years tenure have been far exceeded.
About DSWO, Bhopal, the D-G said that as per the MOD guidelines, Lt Col Dixit could have got extension maximum up to July 11, 2002, but he has been managing extension from the State Government beyond age and tenure limit despite his case having not recommended by Director, Sainik Welfare, Madhya Pradesh.
“It has come to light through interaction and complaints received from ex-servicemen (ESM) of Madhya Pradesh that Lt Col SC Dixit has a negative approach and is in a habit of working against the interest of the organisation as well as ESM,” the D- said in his letter.
The DG went on writing that he (Dixit) has no time for ESM and is holding office only for his own vested interests. Before he does further damage to the organisation, he needs to be replaced immediately, he added.
When contacted, Lt Col SC Dixit denied the allegations against him. “I am working in the organisation with a mission and regularly conducting open forums to get feedback of my work,” he told Hindustan Times. “If anyone proved that I am working against the interest of ex-servicemen or their families, I will have no hesitation in quitting the job,” Dixit stated.
On the issue of violation of Defence Ministry’s guidelines, he said that the Sainik Welfare Board is in a double control of the State and Union Government. “Those posted at State and district level are considered employees of the State Government, and it is the discretion of the State Government to give extension to those whose performance is excellent”.