CAT chief decides to not hear whistleblower officer's cases, cites unfortunate developments

Sanjiv Chaturvedi, a 2002-batch Indian Forest Service officer, has been contesting cases against the central government over adverse entries made in his appraisal report of 2015-16.

Published: 23rd April 2019 01:49 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd April 2019 01:49 PM   |  A+A-

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NEW DELHI: CAT chairman L Narasimha Reddy has decided to not hear cases involving whistleblower bureaucrat Sanjiv Chaturvedi, citing 'most unfortunate developments' and other reasons.

Chaturvedi, a 2002-batch Indian Forest Service officer, has been contesting cases against the central government over adverse entries made in his appraisal report of 2015-16 by All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, and other related matters since 2016.

In August 2016, Chaturvedi joined his parent cadre of Uttarakhand after completion of his four-year tenure as chief vigilance officer, who acts as a distant arm of the Central Vigilance Commission, during 2012 and 2016.

In July 2017, Chaturvedi moved Nainital bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal, challenging entries into his appraisal report of 2015-16.

The Nainital bench then issued notices to the central government and AIIMS.

In November 2017, he filed an application before the CAT chairman for transfer of his three other pending petitions (filed on different service related matters) from Delhi bench to Nainital.

However, the very next month, the AIIMS administration filed a transfer petition before the CAT chief for transfer of his pending case of the appraisal report from Nainital bench to Delhi.

All these four transfer petitions were being heard jointly by CAT chief Reddy.

In an order late last month, Reddy said with each passing day, one complication or the other, related to these transfer petitions, was arising.

The situation virtually reached the peak when it led to the initiation of contempt proceedings against the council, and as a counterblast, filing of a contempt case by the petitioner against the chairman by name, before the Uttarakhand High Court, he said.

"This is a rare case in which most unfortunate developments have taken place. The very stature of the office of the chairman is put to test. Persons may come and persons may go, but the stature of the office of the chairman cannot be permitted to suffer any dent. At the same time, the right of a citizen to get fair adjudication cannot be defeated," he said in the order dated March 29.

Reddy said the law does provide for invocation of the doctrine of necessity, to meet eventualities of this nature.

However, the peculiar and unfortunate situation that has developed in this case warrants that it be left open to the petitioners in the four transfer petitions to seek their remedies in any forum or court, the order said.

The registry is, therefore, directed to return the files in the transfer petitions to the respective petitioners, to enable them to work out their remedies in accordance with the law, it said.

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