By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 30 Jul: The Pushkar Singh Dhami Government appears to be committed to preventing use of political clout by officials of the state government for desired postings or transfers. In the first such move of its kind in recent history, an officer was suspended, today, for attempting to get a desired posting using political pressure. The action taken on the orders of Chief Minister Dhami has sent a strong message to the government officials in the state.
The officer in question is RK Seth, who is also an accused in an alleged scam related to irregularities in sale of sugar from Nadehi Sugar Mill, of which he was the General Manager. Sources state that Seth had been demoted following disclosure of the sugar scam in Nadehi Sugar Mill and transferred to the Bajpur Sugar Mill. He was, however, not allowed to join at the Bajpur Sugar Mill by the GM there.
He was transferred back to Nadehi but the GM of that mill was hesitant to accept him citing the ongoing inquiry against him. He apprehended that the inquiry against Seth could be influenced if Seth was posted at the mill.
Sources further state that Seth, too, did not wish to join at Nadehi on a post junior to what he had held there till recently.
Meanwhile, sources allege that Seth managed to convince Sugarcane Minister Yateeshwaranand to transfer him as General Manager at the Sugar Federation Headquarters in Dehradun. The minister had directed the officials to prepare for issuance of such orders. His transfer orders were under preparation when the issue came to the knowledge of the CM, who expressed his displeasure in this regard. Sources claim that the CM was told that Seth was using the help of the Sugarcane Minister for a creamy posting. Soon, Secretary, Sugarcane, Chandresh Yadav issued orders suspending Seth allegedly for using political influence for a desired posting.
The suspension order issued today stated that Seth, Chief Engineer, had not joined his current posting at Nadehi Sugar Mill in compliance with the above orders of the Sugarcane Department. This non-compliance on part of the said officer was a sign of disregard for the orders of the higher officials. The order stated that Seth was absent from duty without the permission of the appointing authority or his seniors and had used political clout to influence the ongoing departmental inquiry against him and to get a posting on a post where his deputation was already over. Any attempt to use political influence for a posting was against the rules. The order stated that the said conduct of Seth was in clear violation of rules 35 36, 41, 42 of the Uttar Pradesh Co-operative Sugar Mills Union Ltd, Employees’ Service Rules, 1988 (as applicable in the state of Uttarakhand). Therefore, Seth was suspended with immediate effect for violation of conduct and discipline rules. Sources disclosed that various complaint letters had been sent to the CM’s Office against RK Seth, Chief Engineer / then Principal Manager, Nadehi Sugar, alleging serious corruption and scams. In view of the financial irregularities that came to light in the special audit report for Nadehi Sugar Mill, an inquiry was ordered against Seth and he was demoted through an Office Memorandum. Sources further stated that a charge sheet had also been issued after the approval of the Competent Authority / Administrator, Uttarakhand Sugars, designating the Executive Director, Kichha Sugar Mill as the Inquiry Officer.
It may be recalled that, some days ago, Uttarakhand Government had issued a circular to officers of All India Services, urging them to refrain from using political pressure for desired postings. The circular not only reminded that using political pressure or clout for a desired posting was against the service conduct rules and would not be tolerated.