CAT seeks response from Centre, U’khand on whistleblower’s plea for deputation in Lokpal
Sanjiv Chaturvedi, who is currently Chief Conservator of Forests in Uttarakhand, had written a letter to Lokpal last November seeking deputation to serve in its investigation wing.Updated: Aug 08, 2020 18:47 IST
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) Allahabad Division Bench has sought responses from Centre and the Uttarakhand government within six weeks on Indian Forest Services (IFS) officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi’s application that a decision be taken on his request to seek deputation in the national anti-corruption body Lokpal’s investigation wing.
The order was issued on August 4, but a copy of the order was made available on Saturday. HT has a copy of the order and other related documents.
In November last year, Chaturvedi, a 2002 batch IFS officer, who is currently Chief Conservator of Forests in Uttarakhand, had written a letter to Lokpal seeking deputation to serve in its investigation wing.
The state government gave its no-objection certificate to Centre government regarding his deputation plea on December 23 last year, leaving it for Centre to take the final decision.
Responding to the NOC, the Union ministry of environment and forests wrote to the state government on February 4 that “the notification of vacancy in Lokpal, relevant to subject matter, maybe furnished to this ministry to further process the request of Sanjeev Chaturvedi, IFS, at the earliest”
Following the development, Chaturvedi filed an application in CAT Allahabad bench, whose circuit bench sits in Nainital for a week every month in normal times. During the epidemic, the circuit bench of CAT could not sit in Nainital and this case was heard through video conferencing.
Chaturvedi in his plea had sought relief from CAT to summon the records of the case and issue directions to Centre to pass appropriate orders on his deputation plea in Lokpal “with positive recommendation in view of fulfilment of all the statutory requirements under IFS Cadre Rules, 1966, on grounds of equity.. in accordance with the objectives of the establishment of the institution of Lokpal.. in public interest” and not to reject his deputation plea on “any ulterior/subjective/oblique consideration.”
In his application, Chaturvedi stated that “there may be attempts on the part of Respondent No.1 (Centre), to get the said NOC withdrawn so as to pre-empt the case of applicant…which if allowed would result in irreparable loss to applicant..”
The IFS officer, while seeking interim relief, stated in his application that Centre and Uttarakhand government be directed to maintain status quo, in respect of NOC/recommendation granted by the state government in its December 23, 2019 letter till the disposal of the case (in CAT).
Hearing the matter on August 4 through video conferencing, the Allahabad bench of CAT ordered “Let counter reply on behalf of both the respondents (Centre and Uttarakhand govt) be filed within six weeks. Applicant (Chaturvedi) is directed to file his rejoinder within two weeks thereafter. Both the counsels are also directed to file their objection separately on the request of interim relief within three weeks. The matter has been listed for next hearing on August 27.
Chaturvedi served as Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of AIIMS, Delhi (June 2012 to June 2016), where he came into the spotlight for his fight against corruption and investigating over 200 cases of graft. In 2015, he was awarded Ramon Magsaysay Award for his fight against corruption.