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Punjab govt suspends two IAS officers for 'technically-flawed' decision on dissolution of panchayats

The two officers have been identified as Dhirendra Kumari Tiwari, who was posted as Principal Secretary in the Panchayat Department and the other one is Gurpreet Singh Khaira, who was serving as director in the Panchayat Department.

Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Published on: August 31, 2023 23:25 IST
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann
Image Source : PTI Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann

In a major action by the Punjab government, two IAS officers have been suspended for making a "technically flawed" decision in relation to the dissolution of the Panchayat.

The two officers have been identified as Dhirendra Kumari Tiwari, who was posted as Principal Secretary in the Panchayat Department and the second one is Gurpreet Singh Khaira, who was serving as director in Panchayat Department.

Earlier today, the Punjab Government had informed the Punjab-Haryana High Court that the notification for dissolution of Panchayats was being withdrawn.

The action against two IAS officers was taken hours after taking a "U-turn" by informing the high court that it was withdrawing its notification dissolving all gram panchayats in the state.

The government suspended 1994-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Dhirendra Kumar Tiwari, Principal Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayats, and 2009-batch IAS officer Gurpreet Singh Khaira, Director, Rural Development and Panchayats and ex-officio Special Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayats, with immediate effect under the provisions of rule 3(1) of the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969, according to an official order.

The headquarters of these officers during their period of suspension shall be in Chandigarh and they will be entitled to subsistence allowable in accordance with rules. The order of suspension was issued by Chief Secretary Anurag Verma.

Earlier in the day, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that it was withdrawing the notification on dissolution of all gram panchayats in the state, which was seen as a major embarrassment for the Bhagwant Mann regime.

The Punjab government, through its August 10 notification, had dissolved all gram panchayats, panchayat samitis and zila parishads.

According to the notification, the elections of the members of the panchayat samitis and zila parishads were to be held by November 25 and those of the gram panchayats by December 31.

There are 13,241 gram panchayats, 152 block samitis and 22 zila parishads in the state. The opposition slammed the AAP government over its "U-turn" in the court.

With inputs from PTI

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