The Hindu sent detailed questions to Mr. Narayanasamy on the entire episode. The DoPT responded to questions by stating that the opinion in the “confidential note” had been arrived at after due examination and with approval of the “competent authority” — implying the minister.

The DoPT said it believes officers in States cannot approach the Centre against false charge sheets. But the CAT has previously held that this is not so. The CAT’s order on this has never been challenged. The rules are explicit that the Centre can intervene suo motu and overrule the State on matters of review or revision of orders against All India Service officers.

The DoPT said it had no comments to offer on how the Haryana government used its opinion in the confidential note and that the Central Vigilance Commission and the CBI are “independent statutory bodies and are free to have their own views”.

On the providential supply of information to one of the officers indicted by the Central government committee for harassing Mr. Chaturvedi, the DoPT said this could not be termed a “leak” as it was provided under the RTI by a quasi-judicial authority — the CPIO of the ministry. The department said, in any case, any grievance against the DoPT providing the confidential note could be appealed under the RTI Act if someone wanted to.

On Mr. Narayanasamy writing against the orders of his own department on the deputation of Mr. Chaturvedi to Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, the DoPT said it had not changed its opinion and had only written to the Environment Ministry “to ensure his relieving”. The Hindu had asked about the difference of opinion between the ministers on the issue having originated after the deputation. The department, in its reply, did not acknowledge the presence of such a correspondence.

On why the DoPT had failed to respond to queries from the PMO upon Mr. Chaturvedi’s complaints (seven letters written by the PMO over more than a year), it said the department had referred the matter to the Department of Legal Affairs and was yet to hear from them even after a year. The DoPT said it stands by its opinion and will take a “final view” only when it gets a reply.

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