Sunday, August 4, 2013

Durga Nagpal suspension: Centre seeks report from UP

NEW DELHI, August 4, 2013 PTI

The Centre has sought a report from Samajwadi Party-led Uttar Pradesh government on suspension of an IAS officer, who had cracked down on sand mafia involved in rampant quarrying along the banks of Yamuna river.

The move comes in the backdrop of Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday writing a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying that Durga Sakthi Nagpal, a 2010-batch officer, should not be "unfairly treated".

The Prime Minister holds the charge of Ministry of Personnel, the nodal department for administrative matters of IAS cadre.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has shown urgency in the matter and written to the UP government seeking a report on 28-year-old Ms. Nagpal's suspension, official sources said.

"We must ensure that the officer is not unfairly treated," Ms. Gandhi had said in her letter to the Prime Minister.

A state government has to mandatorily give a report to the Centre in case of suspension of an IAS officer, the sources said, adding that it is still awaited from the U.P. authorities in Ms. Nagpal's case.

Ms. Nagpal, who belongs to the UP cadre, was suspended on July 27 ostensibly for ordering demolition of a wall of a local under-construction mosque without following the due process.

Her suspension has evoked sharp reaction from opposition parties, including BJP and BSP, which have alleged that the Sub-Divisional Officer was removed for her crackdown on the sand mafia operating in Gautam Budh Nagar area of the state.

Civil society members and eminent former and serving bureaucrats have also criticised the action of the UP authorities. The All India IAS Officers' Association has sought Ms. Nagpal's reinstatement. Ms. Nagpal is at present attached to the Board of Revenue in Lucknow.

The DoPT has given an assurance to the IAS Officers' Association that justice would be done in her case and the department will ensure that no unjust treatment is meted out to Ms. Nagpal, officials said.

"I have received a representation from IAS association and from our side we will ensure that rules are followed, procedures are followed. The Government of India always looks into the issue in a dispassionate manner.

"Therefore, there is no need to worry," Minister of State for Ministry of Personnel V. Narayanasamy had said after meeting members of the IAS association here recently.

The minister had told the delegation that the Centre would look into the matter as soon as a report is given by the state government.

"Definitely the DoPT being the cadre controlling authority for IAS officers will act," he had said.
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