New Delhi/Lucknow, Aug 6: Hardening its stand on the IAS officer's suspension issue, a defiant Samajwadi Party(SP) today said erring officers will be punished and said Centre can withdraw all IAS officers from Uttar Pradesh which can function without them.
Amid the brewing confrontation between the SP and the Centre over the suspension of IAS officer Durga Sakthi Nagpal, who hit the spotlight for cracking down on the sand mafia, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Government is in touch with the state authorities on the issue and that laid down rules will be followed.
The unrelenting stand of the ruling SP government was voiced in Lucknow by Chief Minister Akhjilesh Yadav who made it clear that officials who make “mistakes” will be punished.
“There might be many children (sitting here) who I can say would have received a beating from their teachers and parents when they had done something wrong.... the government is also run like this, whenever any official does something wrong he is punished”, Akhilesh, who has justified the suspension of Nagpal, a 2010-batch officer, said at a function.
In Delhi, SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav went a step further. “We do not want any IAS officers. Let the Centre withdraw all these officers from UP and it will run the state with its own officers.”
Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy said that under the rules, the suspended officer has the right to appeal.
“She has not approached us so far. But if she sends her appeal to us, we will send its copy to the state government and seek its response. Then we will decide the future course of action. Normally, an officer approaches the state government... We cannot act suo moto,” he said.
Nagpal, the 28-year-old SDM of Gautam Budh Nagar, who led the crackdown on sand mining mafia in her district, was suspended on July 27 ostensibly for ordering demolition of a wall of a under-construction mosque allegedly without following the due process. Nagpal, who belongs to the UP cadre, was chargesheeted on Sunday.
Sources said that the charge sheet, which is believed to be running into 10 pages, was prepared based on a report of Commissioner(Meerut Division).
Asked about the suspension issue outside Parliament, the Prime Minister said, “We are in touch with the state government to find out the full details of the issue.” “There are rules laid down and the rules will be followed,” he said.
Official sources said Centre is examining a report sent to it by the UP government on controversial suspension issue.
A report carrying details of the suspension has been received by the Ministry of Personnel, which is the nodal authority for administrative matters related to Indian Administrative Service (IAS), they said.
The report was sent after the Centre issued three letters to the state government and a week after the officer was suspended.
The Centre had yesterday asked the UP government to immediately give a report on the suspension of Nagpal, who had cracked down on sand mafia in Gautam Budh Nagar area.
Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy said this is the third such letter sent to the state government after she was suspended on July 27.
The Centre's fresh reminder came in the backdrop of Sonia Gandhi, who is Chairperson of National Advisory Council (NAC), writing a letter to the Prime Minister, saying that Nagpal should not be “unfairly treated”.
“We must ensure that the officer is not unfairly treated,” Gandhi had said in her letter to Singh, who holds the charge of Personnel Ministry.
As per rules, an officer gets a maximum of ten days to respond on charges levelled against him or her.
“The member of the Service shall be required to appear in person before the inquiring authority at any time prescribed after the expiry of ten working days from the date of receipt of the articles of charge and statement of imputations of misconduct or misbehavior,” the rule said.
At another function at the Samajwadi Party office in Lucknow, the Chief Minister justified the decision to suspend Nagpal, saying a number of SDMs have been suspended in the country and asked why such a hue and cry was being raised on such action in UP.
“A number of SDMs might have been suspended in the country..But why hue and cry is being raised on suspension in the state..Media is after my government,” Akhilesh said.
“Its difficult to run a government. As compared to 10 years of politics, running a year of government is more difficult,” he said.
Akhilesh said in the previous Mayawati regime, an IAS officer had committed suicide and they (IAS officers) used to visit CM's office after removing shoes.
In Delhi, his father and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav told PTI that the action against Nagpal was taken to prevent communal disturbance which otherwise could have erupted after the demolition of the mosque's wall.
SP's arch rival and BSP supremo Mayawati used the suspension row to lash out at the state government. “A lot of injustice has been done to the IAS officer who has been suspended and chargesheeted,” she said.
“There is no law and order in the state. Instead, it is ruled by mafia and anti-social elements....it has drastically failed in matters of law and order,” she said.