He clarifies that by faith he is a Christian but he remains a Hindu legally
C. Umashankar, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, contended on Friday that there was no wrongdoing on his part in acquiring immovable properties and obtaining community certificate.
[Mr. Umashankar was suspended by State government in July in view of disciplinary proceedings and an inquiry contemplated concerning the genuineness of his Scheduled Caste community certificate. On Thursday, the government revoked his suspension.]
He told a press conference here that he had purchased two properties – 1.75 grounds in Kadirvedu village near Madhavaram in 1998 and 20-year-old second-hand 900-sq.ft. flat in Santhome in 2003 – after taking due permission from the government. He had bought them after taking loans from banks and government, besides his savings. While the cost of Kadirvedu land was Rs. 2.75 lakh to Rs. 3 lakh, the flat's value was Rs. 10 lakh.
The IAS officer of the 1990 batch produced documents in support of his claim that he had received the government permission.
As for the community status, Mr. Umashankar said that his father was a Hindu and belonged to the community of Pallar (Devendra Kula Vellar).
His mother was a Christian. In the school leaving certificate, his [Mr Umashankar's] religion was mentioned as Christianity and he was known as Ashok. In February 1984, his father got him “reconverted” into Hinduism. His name was changed as Umashankar.
The change of religion and name was notified in the government gazette two months later.
In March 1985, he got a SC community certificate issued by the Sankarankoil [Tirunelveli district] tahsildar.
The Union Public Service Commission had carried out verification of the certificate twice–before and after he had joined the IAS.
Mr. Umashankar argued that only the UPSC or the Union government had the power to seek an enquiry into his community status.
Asked whether he would join duty as Managing Director of the Tamil Nadu Small Industries Corporation (TANSI), the IAS officer said he would do so on Monday.
He clarified that by faith, he was a Christian but he remained a Hindu legally.