CAT seeks response from Centre, U’khand on bureaucrat’s plea

The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), that adjudicates service matters of government employees, has sought response from the Centre and Uttarakhand government on a plea of whistleblower bureaucrat Sanjiv Chaturvedi seeking deputation in the anti-corruption ombudsman Lokpal, according to an official order.
Chaturvedi, a 2002 batch Indian Forest Service officer of Uttarakhand cadre, had approached the CAT seeking direction for Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) “to pass appropriate orders” on a No Objection Certificate (NOC) given by Uttarakhand state government in December 2019, allowing him to join the Lokpal.
He is at present posted as Chief Conservator of Forest (Research) at Haldwani, Uttarakhand.
“Let counter reply on behalf of both the respondents (MoEFCC and Chief Secretary, Uttarakhand Government) be filed within six weeks. Applicant is directed to file his rejoinder within two weeks thereafter,” according to the order issued on Tuesday by CAT’s Allahabad Bench.
In his application filed before the tribunal in February this year, Chaturvedi had also sought interim relief as direction for the respondents to maintain status quo in respect of the NOC granted to him by the state government for joining the ombudsman “till the disposal of the instant case”.
“Both the counsels are also directed to file their objection separately on the request of interim relief within three weeks,” said the divisional bench of Justice Bharat Bhushan (Judicial member) and Devendra Chaudhary (Administrative member).
The matter has been listed for August 27 for disposal of prayer of interim relief, the order said.
Citing his relentless fight against corruption, Chaturvedi had in November sought deputation in the Lokpal.
“I belong to a respectable family of freedom fighters and my entire career has been that of persistent struggle /resistance against corruption of high and mighty of ruling establishment, with unflinching commitment in the face of relentless persecution of all form,” he had said in his letter, written via the Uttarakhand government, to the Lokpal.
Winner of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2015 for his fight against corruption, Chaturvedi highlighted in the letter some prominent cases investigated by him during his tenure as CVO of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi and when he was posted in Haryana, and the appreciation received by him from various Constitutional authorities.
In his letter, he had said that all the requirements for the said deputation are fulfilled by him regarding completion of a cooling off period of three years as on August 29, 2019, and that there is vacancy in Central Deputation Reserve in his cadre (i.E., Uttarakhand). (PTI)