Documents From File Related to Whistleblower Bureaucrat Go Missing, Complaint Lodged Against Khattar’s Office
Chaturvedi, during his stint as DFO in Hisar during the Bhupinder Singh Hooda regime in 1999, had unearthed a multi-crore scam in the forestry programme in Jhajjar.
Indian Forest Service officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi. (Facebook)
Chandigarh: In an embarrassment for the Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana, a police complaint has been filed against the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) for ‘missing’ documents from a file related to Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi’s case.
The complaint was filed by Rajinder Singh Chhillar, superintendent of the forest branch of the Haryana secretariat on May 21.
As per the complaint, the case is related to “the main file pertaining to CWP No. 5953 of 2014 titled as State of Haryana and Principal Chief Conservator of Forest VS Union of India was submitted by the office to the Hon’ble CM for taking the decision to withdraw the said Writ”.
The complaint mentions that “original file noting and some correspondence pertaining to the file has been misplaced”.
Chaturvedi, during his stint as DFO in Hisar during the Bhupinder Singh Hooda regime in 1999, had unearthed a multi-crore scam in the forestry programme in Jhajjar and indicted the senior bureaucrats of the department on charges of corruption.
The Magsaysay awardee had then asked for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the matter.
The Hooda government, however, indicted the officer in the very scam he had blown the lid off, and chargesheeted him.
A central government inquiry ensued on the officer’s complaint backed his findings and recommended quashing of the chargesheet against him.
The two-member panel had indicted the offices of Hooda and senior bureaucrats for fabricating charges against Chaturvedi and favoured a CBI inquiry into the matter. Subsequently, a 2011 Presidential order revoked the chargesheet against him.
The state government, in 2014, filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court for quashing the President’s orders and the central government panel’s recommendations.
In 2016, the advocate general’s office advised the government to withdraw the petition.
Consequently, Chaturvedi had filed an RTI application, seeking to know the steps taken by the government on the AG’s advice.
It then came to light that some notings from the file had gone missing. The file was seen last by the principal secretary to the chief minister on March 7 and was returned by the CM’s office on March 15.
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