Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The Principal Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has sought replies from the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and others on an affidavit by a scientist of the Council, alleging that the inquiry officer appointed by the ICAR to probe the charge of misconduct against him had not conducted even a single proceeding and that he "cooked up" the report.

The inquiry was ordered in 2001 and inquiry officer S.R. Misra submitted the report in 2006, holding that the charges levelled against scientist S.S. Tomar were valid and the Council could take action against him as per law.

Thereafter, Mr. Tomar moved the CAT last year, challenging the report.

Mr. Tomar levelled the allegation of "fake inquiry" after inspecting files at the Council's headquarters here and at the CVC on a direction by the Central Information Commission (CIC) on a bunch of petitions filed by him under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The affidavit accused the inquiry officer of charging the allowances even without visiting the venue of inquiry.

"He was biased"

Mr. Tomar said the inquiry officer was biased against him because he (Mr. Tomar) had filed several complaints against him with several authorities, including with the Central Bureau of Investigation and the CVC.

The scientist said the inquiry officer could not conduct such inquiry against him because only the Commissioner for Departmental Inquiry (CDI) of the CVC could conduct such a probe.

Besides, the inquiry officer was junior to Mr. Tomar and, therefore, could not conduct an inquiry against him, the affidavit said.

The Principal Bench of the Tribunal directed the respondents, including the inquiry officer, to file their replies to the allegations within a week.

The matter will come up for hearing on May 4.