June 14, 2024

The Bihar

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CAT seeks response of Bihar govt on IAS officer’s transfer plea

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The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has sought the response of the Bihar government on a contempt petition filed by an IAS officer for not complying with its order asking the state to consider his name for inter-state transfer after he apprehended threat to his life.

The Principal Bench of the CAT, comprising members Nita Chowdhury and V Ajay Kumar, issued notice to the chief secretary of Bihar and asked for a reply before May 30, the next date for hearing.

The CAT had last month lashed out at the state government for not providing security to 2013-batch IAS officer Jitendra Gupta, who has repeatedly complained of threat to his life from the “transport mafia”, saying it apprehended a “repeat of Satyendra Dubey murder case”.

“If he is not taken out of Bihar, we are afraid, there could be a repeat of Satyendra Dubey murder case, in which a bright young engineer (Dubey), working as Project Director in NHAI, Gaya, Bihar…was murdered by the road construction mafia,” the bench had said.

Dubey had apprehended threat to his life and had sought security, which was not provided, it had said.

The tribunal had said that it was the duty of the Centre and the Bihar government to protect Gupta’s life.

He has sought inter-state transfer from Bihar to Haryana, alleging threat to his life for acting tough against the ‘transport mafia’ in the state.

The IAS officer has alleged that the mafia, in connivance with the state vigilance department, has implicated him in a false case claiming that he seized four trucks on July 3, 2016 and demanded a bribe for releasing them. He was arrested in the case and had to spend a month in jail.

After being released on bail, Gupta moved the Patna High Court which quashed the FIR against him on October 28, 2016.

The Supreme Court had also upheld the high court order and directed the Centre on May 9, 2017, to consider his inter-state transfer after noting the threat perception.

The state government, in a letter to the Centre, however, said there was no probable threat to the officer’s life and he could continue in the state ‘fearlessly’.

The tribunal noted that the proposal for inter-cadre transfer of Gupta on the ground of extreme hardship was again placed before the committee headed by the secretary (Personnel) of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) at its meeting held on August 17, 2017.

The committee had then recommended that the proposal may be submitted to Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) for consideration.

The Centre, on December 6 last year, had rejected the request for inter-cadre deputation.

The CAT had then directed the Centre’s counsel to submit the reason rejecting “such a sensible and pragmatic recommendation”.

It had quashed the Centre’s decision declining the request of the officer to be transferred to Haryana, holding it “ab initio illegal, arbitrary and unreasonable” and asked it to consider his name again for inter-state transfer.

Courtesy: PTI

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