By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 7 Aug: There is hardly any effective mechanism in the state to deal with complaints filed by the people against senior government officials, particularly against the bureaucrats. As a result, a large number of persons are unable to even register their complaints, while those who do have to wait endlessly to get their complaints resolved. As no effective mechanism exists to deal with complaints against senior bureaucrats, most people are not even aware where to file complaints against them. Many are even reluctant to file complaints against senior officers in the administration for fear of persecution. Among those who actually show courage to file complaints choose to register their complaints with the Personnel Department of Government of India, which then refers these complaints to the state.
In Uttarakhand, an RTI query has revealed that over 28 complaints were filed by various persons against senior IAS and PCS officers in the past two years and most of the complaints are still pending for inquiry and resolution. In a reply received by activist Nadeemuddin to his RTI query, 28 complaints were filed in the years 2018 and 2019 against 8 IAS officers and 14 PCS officers and, with the exception of two complaints, all others are yet to be dealt with. This was revealed by information received from the Personnel Department of the government under RTI.
Of these, the maximum seven complaints are against IAS officer Deepak Rawat, who is currently posted as Mela Officer in Haridwar and, earlier, was DM, Haridwar. According to the State Personnel Department, seven complaints have been received against one of the eight IAS officers while one complaint, each, has been received against others. One complaint, each, has also been received against 14 PCS officers.
According to the information available, in 2018, seven complaints were filed against IAS officer Deepak Rawat. Only one of these has been disposed of as yet, while action is pending in the case of other complaints on grounds which indicate lack of proactive pursuance on part of the state’s personnel department. One complaint filed against ACS Radha Raturi, one against IAS officer ChandreshYadav and one against IAS officer Bal Mayank Mishra have been dealt with, while complaints against Principal Secretary Anand Vardhan, Secretary Nitesh Jha, Ram Bilas Yadav and Nitika Khandelwal filed in 2019 are pending for action.
Apart from this, further action against Deepak Rawat in case of two complaints is pending due to non receipt of affidavits by the complainants. An inquiry report had been sought in June 2019 from the state’s health department on a complaint against Secretary Nitesh Jha but neither any inquiry report had been submitted nor the case pursued by the state’s personnel department. According to the RTI response, in respect of the complaint filed against Principal Secretary Anand Vardhan, the file was pending at a higher level.
In case of a complaint against IAS officer Ram Bilas Yadav, his clarification had been sought in January 2020 but is yet to be received as yet. No affidavit hads been received on the complaint against IAS officer Nitika Khandelwal and, therefore, no action has been taken.
In case of complaints against PCS officers, complaints received against Ruch Mohan Rayal and Ravindra Bist have been dealt with, while a complaint against SJC Kandpal was cancelled. Complaints against most of the other PCS officers are pending due to non-receipt of affidavits.
These officers include Lalit Narayan Mishra, Jitendra Kumar, Pratyush Singh, Kusum Chauhan, Krishna Kumar Mishra, Shyam Singh Rana, Ramesh Gautam, Uday Singh Rana, Srisha Kumar, Santosh Kumar Pandey and Ravindra Bisht. Out of these, the complaint against Jagdish Chandra Kandpal has been deposited (canceled). Action is claimed to be underway in case of four PCS officers, Ramesh Gautam, Uday Singh Rana, Shrish Kumar and Santosh Kumar Pandey.