A top Tamil Nadu bureaucrat, awarded by the UNESCO with King Sejong Literacy Prize for his outstanding work in spreading literacy among 25 million non-literate adults, has urged the Centre to prosecute the country’s Chief Vigilance Commissioner under the SC/ST Act. Dr Jagmohan Singh Raju (56), a Dalit from Punjab who holds the post of Additional Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu, has become a victim of humiliation allegedly unleashed by the CVC, according to a legal notice sent to the Centre by senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan on behalf of Dr Raju.
Dr Raju has urged the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to initiate the process of removing the CVC as per Section 6(1) of the CVC Act, 2003, including a Presidential Reference to the Supreme Court for holding an inquiry and registration of FIR against the CVC under the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities Act) 1989 for committing atrocities.
“Upset over the spectacular performance of the IAS officer”, the notice says, some forces in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere had sent anonymous letters to the CVC which were inquired into and found to be false and frivolous by the HRD Ministry in 2013 itself.
In spite of the clearance, it adds, the CVC has ordered a re-inquiry into the charges levelled against the official in the anonymous letters. The action of the CVC has delayed further the empanelment of Dr Raju as additional secretary to the Government of India.
According to Bhushan, the lawyer representing Dr Raju, CVC KV Chowdary has acted in the “most inappropriate manner” by ordering a re-inquiry into a case which had already been decided.
Dr Raju had approached the National Commission of Scheduled Caste (NCSC), which found to its dismay that the officer had become a victim of high handed behaviour by the CVC. The NCSC after examining Dr Raju’s case had opined: “His case is a sordid reminder of how members of the Scheduled Caste continue to be discriminated against and victimised by not only the society at large but also the government and its instrumentalities which are constitutionally obligated to safeguard their rights.”
It added: “If such a senior Scheduled Caste officer has to face discrimination and injustice leading to impediment in his career by delay in empanelment, demoralising him as well as the petitioner having to unnecessarily bear the stigma of an officer under the investigation by the CVC, then what is the recourse of the thousands of ordinary government servants belonging to the Scheduled Caste ? Injustice and discrimination at the hands of the public authorities erodes the faith of the community in the system.”
Though the HRD Ministry had nominated Dr Raju for the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in 2014, no awards were presented that year because of general elections. Since August 2014, he has been working in his state cadre and was promoted as secretary, GoI in January 2016.