Rajesh Ahuja

CHANDIGARH: The key post of Home Secretary of the Union Territory of Chandigarh is still vacant with the Centre not being able to decide which Haryana cadre officer out of a panel of four to appoint.

Interestingly, senior Haryana IAS officer Krishan Mohan, who served as UT Home Secretary, was relieved and repatriated to his parent State more than three months ago.

Meanwhile, an interesting situation has developed with a local advocate sending a legal notice to Haryana Chief Secretary Dharamvir asking him to withdraw the name of IAS officer Ram Niwas from the panel of four officers as some vigilance enquiries were reportedly still going on against him. Copies of the notice have been forwarded to the Prime Minister, the Union Home Minister and Punjab Governor who is also the Administrator of Chandigarh.

The advocate, Satyavert Bhonsle, has alleged that the essential condition for getting the name on the panel- that the officer should be clear from vigilance angle- had been completely ignored. He charged that while forwarding Mr. Niwas’s name, the Government had only seen the ACR and not the “personal file and status of enquiries with the Vigilance Department”.

He stated that the present Congress Government had ordered a vigilance enquiry into complaints relating to large-scale illegal mining and revenue evasion in Bhiwani district during the erstwhile Chautala regime when Mr. Niwas was posted as Director, Industries and Mines.

Mr. Bhonsle said the Hisar office of the Vigilance Department had in its report forwarded to the State Vigilance Department found that these allegations had great substance and recommended action against him.

The panel includes the names of R. R. Jowel, Anil Kumar and R. P. Chander.