Whistleblower IFS officer finally gets centre’s support

12 transfers in five years, suspension, a fabricated charge-sheet, a tampered annual confidential report and mafia harassment later, officer gets AIIMS call

pankaj

Pankaj Kumar | July 2, 2012




His patience has finally paid. Sanjeev Chaturvedi, an IFS officer of Haryana cadre, has got the support of the central government and has been appointed a deputy secretary in the health ministry. Thanks to his habit of exposing wrongdoings in previous postings, the Haryana government had opposed his deputation and yet he has made it.

A couple of days after Governance Now profiled the officer for the July 1 issue [read the story here], on June 29 the department of personnel and training (DoPT) gave a green signal to a ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) order. DoPT then asked the MoEF to relieve the IFS officer of 2002 batch.

Apart from unearthing several scams for which he earned the wrath of some politicians in Haryana and 12 transfers, he also tried to prevent the destruction of the Saraswati wildlife sanctuary and objected to the misuse of public money in setting up a herbal park in Fatehabad. He brought to light the reality of fake plantations which cost crores of rupees to the exchequer, leading to action against 40 officers.

The price Chaturvedi paid for this exemplary work included 12 transfers in five years, suspension, a fabricated charge-sheet against him, a tampered annual confidential report (ACR) and harassment from the mafia.

Undaunted, he presented his case before the PMO, after which the cabinet secretary referred the matter to the MoEF. A two-member committee set up under MoEF found truth in Chaturvedi’s version of the ‘wrongdoings’ and recommended a CBI probe.

MoEF then sought the advice of the central vigilance commission(CVC), which in turn sought the advice of CBI in 2011. The premier investigation agency agreed that the matter needed to be investigated. Finally, environment minister Jayanti Natarajan asked the state on March 1, 2011 to file an FIR and recommend a CBI enquiry.

Meanwhile, CVC as well as the MoEF panel recommended that the whistleblower officer should be transferred out of the state and to the centre as he would face threat in Haryana during the probe. Chaturvedi thus applied for deputation in the centre but the state government refused to relieve him.

Kuldeep Tiwari, his counsel, said powerful politicians in the state government would have wanted to further harass him, but the centre showed the courage to act and do justice to Chaturvedi.

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