Minister has sent a list of all officers and vigilance cases if any they faced

Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge has left it to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet to pick a candidate for the post of Railway Board chairman. The Board earlier rejected Mr. Kharge’s proposal of the name of A.K. Mittal, General Manager, South Western Railway, with a direction to revise selection norms.

Mr. Kharge has sent a list of all officers — in order of seniority — and of the vigilance cases faced by any, and which of them fulfilled the twin criteria laid down for appointment as chairman — only those having field experience as zonal general manager and having two years of residual service qualify for consideration.

Mr. Kharge’s move comes amid protests from senior officers that cases were being raked up to scuttle eligible officers from elevation.

The Central Vigilance Commission has so far cleared only four names, including that of Mr. Mittal, Kolkata Metro General Manager Radhey Shyam, acting chairman Arunendra Kumar and Northern Railway General Manager V.K. Gupta.

The secretary-general of the Federation of Railway Officers’ Association has opposed the changing of rules for the post which fell vacant on July 1.

In his letter to Mr. Kharge, FROA secretary-general Shubhranshu maintained that changing the rules for filling a vacancy was akin to changing contract conditions after a tender had been opened. He said the CVC had opposed such moves and initiated disciplinary action.

Mr. Shubhranshu pointed out that rules could be changed only prospectively following the final approval of the Department of Personnel and Training and the ACC.

Mr. Shubhranshu has also objected to the latest move in the Board to “fish out” fresh vigilance cases against the “next eligible candidate”.

In an earlier instance, a “trivial vigilance case” had been raked up to scuttle the prospects of North Frontier Railway General Manager R.S. Virdi, claimed Mr. Shubhranshu.

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