The Department of Personnel and Training is accused of hounding IFS officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi, who blew the lid off many forest scams in Haryana
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has moved to resolve the Department of Personnel and Training’s (DoPT) controversial role in the case of Haryana whistle-blower Sanjiv Chaturvedi after several Members of Parliamentasked the Prime Minister to personally intervene and get the matter investigated.
The Hindu had earlier reported on the dubious role the DoPT, led by Minister of State V. Narayanasamy, played in negating the actions of Union Environment Ministry to protect the whistle-blower, who has blown the lid off many forest scams in the State. The Environment Ministry had come to the forest officer’s rescue after the CBI recommended that it be allowed to investigate the corruption cases and the Central Vigilance Commission too advised that the officer be protected from harassment by the State government.
The PMO has held a meeting with DoPT officials and the Environment Ministry on the controversial case that has various ministries and Central government agencies at loggerheads.
At least four MPs, cutting across party lines, have written to the PM, highlighting the need to inquire into the DoPT’s actions that led to the harassment of the Haryana-cadre forest officer. The four have referred to The Hindu’s news report in which Mr. Narayanasamy’s role in scripting a confidential note, which favoured the Haryana government, was highlighted.
The DoPT had defended its actions in response to queries from The Hindu.
For the past one year and more, the PMO has been demanding an explanation from the DoPT through more than half a dozen missives, but without success.
The letters from MPs Basudeb Acharia (CPI-M), Prabodh Panda (CPI), Kushal Tiwari (BSP) and Rama Devi (BJP) have spurred the PMO into taking stock. Sources said the meeting was an attempt to forge a joint position on the issue in order to avoid further embarrassment. The government had earlier tied itself in knots, with the DoPT working at cross purposes with the Environment Ministry, the CBI and the CVC on the matter.
Mr. Acharia demanded that accountability be fixed for the manner in which DoPT acted. He noted: “The nexus with corrupt elements [of DoPT] was so strong that even the so-called confidential note sent to the PMO was supplied almost immediately to the accused persons.” In contrast, he pointed out, to the emphasis Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi laid on protecting honest officers, the DOPT had harassed Mr. Chaturvedi with their actions.
Mr. Tiwari, calling the episode “shameful,” said: “All these shenanigans were aimed solely to bail out certain corrupt politicians and bureaucrats of Haryana from independent CBI investigation.”
Ms. Devi highlighted how, despite the PMO trying to pursue the case with the DoPT for over a year, no action had been taken against the concerned officials.