Uttarakhand CM orders probe after minister claims IAS officer ‘missing’
The minister feared that the officer was abducted as she could not contact him for two full days.Updated: Sep 25, 2020, 19:54 IST
Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has ordered an inquiry after a minister of his complained that a senior IAS officer V Shanmugam was missing from office. Others say that the officer had “applied for leave” and was under home quarantine.
The direction came after the minister for women empowerment and child development Rekha Arya on September 22 wrote to deputy inspector general Dehradun to find Shanmugam. The minister feared that the officer was abducted as she could not contact him for two full days.
Arya, in the letter, also alleged that the IAS officer “may have also gone underground to save himself from the irregularities found in the ongoing recruitment process in her department”. She had claimed that the bureaucrat couldn’t be contacted. However, later it was found that he was in home quarantine at his residence.
Media coordinator of the CM, Darshan Singh Rawat, confirmed the development and said, “The CM ordered the inquiry in the whole matter after speaking to chief secretary (CS) Om Prakash on Thursday evening.”
Additional chief secretary Manisha Panwar will oversee the inquiry.
“As per the directions, I have started the inquiry. However, I cannot reveal the details of it before the media and would submit the inquiry report only to the CS (chief secretary),” Panwar told reporters.
Cabinet minister and government spokesperson Madan Kaushik said, “The minister has raised some issues pertaining to irregularities in her department which she has every right to do so. An inquiry will be done in that and action would be taken against any officer found guilty.”
When contacted, Saujanya (only uses first name), secretary women empowerment and child development department, said that Shanmugam, who is the director women empowerment and child development, had “applied for leave before going under home quarantine”.
“He had applied for leave as per the operational procedure before going under home quarantine citing health grounds,” she said.
V Shanmugam could not be contacted despite several attempts.
The episode has come into light amid the allegations by ruling party MLAs and ministers in the last few months that bureaucrats don’t listen to them.