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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

Badal's special officer joined Punjab without Centre's go-ahead

Navneet Sharma, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, November 23, 2012
First Published: 00:05 IST(23/11/2012) | Last Updated: 00:50 IST(23/11/2012)

Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's special principal secretary KJS Cheema, against whom action is likely for "unauthorised absence" from his parent cadre of West Bengal, had joined the Punjab government in disregard of the cadre rules five-and-a-half years ago.

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Cheema, a 1993-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the West Bengal cadre, did not have the mandatory clearance of the central government when he joined the Punjab government in March 2007, within days of Badal coming to power in the state. Under Rule 6(1) of the IAS (Cadre) Rules 1954, an IAS officer can go on inter-cadre deputation only with the approval of the central government.

Cheema, who appears to be among Badal's favourite officers and has been part of his personal staff, was released by the West Bengal government in June 2005 to join the office of the Lok Sabha speaker as an officer on special duty (OSD), subject to a period not exceeding five years. "The IAS officer was released from the post by the Lok Sabha secretariat on March 5, 2007 for joining the Punjab government without concurrence of the union ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions (department of personnel and training), government of India," according to a communication (copy with HT) sent by Indevar Pandey, secretary, personnel and administrative reforms department, West Bengal, to the Punjab chief secretary on March 26, 2012.

He further wrote that Cheema joined the Punjab government on March 6, 2007, and subsequently the state requested the Centre to regularise the inter-state deputation. "But the department of personnel and training (DoPT) did not accede to the request of the Punjab government and asked for reversion of Cheema to his parent cadre through a series of letters," Pandey wrote, pointing out that the West Bengal government was facing acute shortage of IAS officers.

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