Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Central relief for ex-babu

Gujarat EDN
TOI 02AUG2012

Rajiv Shah TNN

IAS Officer Was Denied Retirement Benefits by State Govt

Gandhinagar:The Government of India (GoI) has finally exonerated 
Jasvinder Singh Rana, an IAS bureaucrat of the 1975 batch from the penalty of “censure” issued against him. He had resigned from the service in May 2008 after being sidelined by Modi government 
    The penalty, interestingly, was issued by the state government three years after he put in his papers. It was regarding a departmental inquiry instituted against him for allowing better pay scales to employees of the Gujarat State Financial Services (GSFC) way back in 1998, allegedly without government approval. 
    Rana’s case acquires significance, as he faced state government’s ire soon after he refused to oblige to chief minister Narendra Modi’s request for providing free state transport (ST) buses for Gujarat-wide Gaurav Yatra, ahead of the December 2002 assembly elections. 
    Rana, the then managing-director of the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (popularly ST), was immediately shunted out, and thereafter put on positions considered unimportant. Things reached a flashpoint after he was refused promotion as additional chief secretary (ACS) in 2008 citing the departmental inquiry, while his junior A K Joti, present chief secretary, was allowed promotion. He then filed papers seeking voluntary retirement. 
    The penalty of censure against Rana followed the state government’s refusal to accept his resignation for three continuous years, saying that the bureaucrat could not be given voluntary retirement benefits as the GSFC inquiry was pending against him. 
    Rana appealed to Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), won the case against the government, and got an order for post-retirement benefits last year. “Even after being allowed voluntary retirement benefits following CAT order, the state government censured me to ensure that I do not get benefits equal to an ACS-level official. With the GoI declaring that the penalty of censure is without jurisdiction (nonest in official jargon), I hope to get all the benefits of an ACS-level official post-retirement”, Rana told TOI. 
    Official communications show that GoI, in a letter to the Gujarat government, had said in 2010 that the refusal to allow Rana with voluntary retirement appeared to be “an act of political vendetta” and there was “no dishonesty” or “misconduct” on his part. “Despite the clear cut observations, I was first denied VRS, and following the CAT order in my favour, was then censured”, the ex-babu said. 
    Interestingly, the GoI wrote a letter to the state chief secretary in April 2012 to remove the censure penalty against Rana.