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Another slap on Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s face, President asks govt to restore honour of forest officer

Tuesday, 4 February 2014 - 7:11am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA
  • Bhupinder Singh Hooda

In yet another slap on the face of Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda – who was literally slapped by a youth in Panipat on Sunday – the president of India has ordered the Haryana government to restore the honour of forest service official Sanjiv Chaturvedi. Exercising its extraordinary powers, president’s office quashed the observations and downgrade of Chaturvedi’s ranks by Assessing Authority in two consecutive years.  

Chaturvedi had approached the president via ministry of environment and forests in August 2012 against the harassment meted out to him by the Haryana government. The All India Services (Performance Appraisal Report) Rules, 2007 and All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules 1969 empower the president to hear appeals by aggrieved officials.

As per the documents with dna, the president, indicting the Haryana government in his order dated January 31 said, “President of India, after careful consideration of the issues raised in the memorial, subsequent representations submitted by Sanjiv Chatrurvedi, government of Haryana, and all facts and circumstances of the case has come to a conclusion that the adverse entries recorded by the Accepting Authority for 2010-11 and 2011-12 are not found to be tenable and hence expunged.”

The case pertained to adverse remarks and downgrading Chaturvedi’s assessment in the performance appraisal by the Assessing Authority for 2011-12 to zero, despite the Reporting Authority giving him 8.75, and Reviewing Authority 8.5 on a scale of ten.  Ditto was the case in 2010-11, when the officer was downgraded to zero with adverse remarks in the Annual Confidential Reports.

This is despite the fact that the officer had over achieved revenue targets in 2011-12 by 120% by bringing highest auction rates for various timber species. In the year preceding that, he achieved a 130% success.

The order said, “For the financial year 2010-11, the grading awarded by the reviewing authority (nine points) would be final and the other APAR initiated by the Accepting Authority stands discarded.

For the financial year 2011-12, the grading awarded by the reviewing authority (8.5 points) is to be treated as the final grading and all the entries recorded by the Accepting Authority, including the adverse remarks are expunged, in totality, with immediate effect.”

Interestingly, this is the fourth presidential intervention in case of Chaturvedi. They also indicate that Chaturvedi has gone way ahead in dealing with charged levelled against him than his senior colleague and whistle-blower Ashok Khemka. The first three interventions also expose the Haryana government for its malicious ways against the official. The first intervention came in January 2008, against a suspension order issued against him. It pertained to a case of preventing a wildlife sanctuary from contractors.

The second intervention came in another case related to the first intervention. Third intervention stopped the penalty imposed by government on him for negligence in Jhajjar plantation scam, which was exposed by Chaturvedi himself. In June 2012, an extraordinary intervention was made by the central government in directly relieving the officer for central deputation.

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