Maharashtra appoints tainted officer as labour welfare board interim chief
Satish Dabhade had allegedly submitted a bogus caste certificate which was turned invalid by the government in 2004mumbai Updated: Jul 31, 2017 00:12 IST
The state government has appointed an officer facing inquiry for allegedly submitting fake caste certificate as the interim commissioner of the Labour Welfare Board. Satish Dabhade has also been accused of swindling funds meant for workers’ welfare and providing employment to tribal youth by taking bribes from them.
Terming Dabhade incompetent to hold the post, employees of the welfare board wrote to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and labour minister Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar and sought his immediate removal. Dabhade was appointed to the post despite adverse noting by the department secretary.
Days before his appointment, even the Bombay high court had dismissed his petition challenging his demotion to the post of a worker welfare office. Dabhade was demoted after it came to the fore that his caste certificate was bogus. The labour department sought opinion of the law and judiciary department before appointing Dabhade, as the matter was subjudice back then.
However, through a special note in January 2017, labour minister Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar ordered the appointment using his special powers as chairperson of the welfare board.
As per documents accessed by HT, Dabhade had allegedly submitted a bogus caste certificate which was turned invalid by the government in 2004. After the report, he was demoted to the post of deputy welfare commissioner to worker welfare officer in 2011. Dabhade also faces allegations of financial irregularities against him.
Dabhade, however, said that he was promoted as an employee from the caste under Sepcial Backward Class (SBC), which has 2% reservation.
“It is true that my caste certificate had turned invalid and I was demoted in 2011. My petition against the action is pending in the Bombay high court and I have been given interim relief. Even after the Supreme Court’s recent decision about the caste certificate, my promotion is safeguarded as I had validated my reservation based on the caste. My promotion as interim commissioner is based on my seniority and is as per legal provisions.The employee, who had complained against me, is herself facing a graft charge,” Dabhade said.
But the labour department in its November 2016 report stated that Dabhade’s seniority based on the SBC certificate was to be finalised by the government. A letter by Maharashtra Labour Welfare Board on April 4, 2012, to the labour minister mentions that three departmental inquiries were pending against Dabhade.
Commenting on the issue Nilangekar said, “The law and judiciary department has not given a clear view to appoint Dabhade on the post, the appointment is conditional and interim as well. As and when the appointment is challenged or any adverse order is given by the court, he will be asked to step down. It is true that he does not have the seniority in the rank of assistant welfare commissioners, but even the senior officers are facing an inquiry or two. We had to choose an officer with comparatively cleaner record.”