Forget rules, it’s Haryana

New Delhi (18.12.2020): All India Service Rules don’t matter. This is the message of the Haryana government.

About 15 days ahead of her scheduled retirement, the state government, putting the rulebook on the shelf, divested Dr. (Ms.) Amarinder Kaur (IFS: HY), Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Head of Forest Force) cum CWLW and chairperson of HBB, Haryana (Panchkula), of all her powers and debarred her from taking any ‘administrative decision.’

Since All India Service Rules don’t allow the state government to suspend any officer governed under these rules, a legally grey area was contrived to suspend the retiring officer without seeming to have suspended her.

And who contrived this fantastic idea? Very few know the answer.

Further, look at the order issued by G Anupama (IAS:1991:HY), Principal Secretary, Environment & Forest, and Secretary to the Governor, Haryana: “The Governor of Haryana is pleased to order that no administrative decision shall be taken by Dr (Mrs) Amarinder Kaur (IFS: HY), Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Head of Forest Force)-cum-CWLW and Chairperson, HBB, Haryana (Panchkula) with immediate effect.”

Why was the governor ‘pleased’ and not ‘pained’ or ‘distressed’ while issuing a nasty order like the one he did?

And, above all, what was the pressing need, or exigency of the situation, that necessitated ‘insulting’ an officer, and that also a lady officer, 15 days before her retirement? – is the question being asked not only by senior officials but also by Sangh workers whose embarrassment at the functioning of the government has been mounting and whose liaising with the people has been snapping.

There is said to be a twist in the story. If some top-level sources are to be believed the action against Ms. Kaur is linked to the fact that she ignored the advice to take action against Kurushetra DFO Virender Gill.

And what crime did Gill commit that the state administration wanted the PCCF to take action against him?

One part of this story is that Gill had assaulted a senior IFS officer and Northern Circle CCF G Raman, for which he was arrested on December 16, 2020, and then released on bail a day later. The fracas between the two had broken out in the Ambala-based office of the Forest Complex a week before on the issue of clearance of some files relating to money matters. Subsequently, Gill was booked on December 9 following a complaint lodged by Raman.

Against this backdrop, Dr (Ms.) Kaur was expected to take action against Gill in a clear display of undue interest. Faced with Ms. Kaur’s reluctance, reportedly, the position and influence first for the arrest of Gill and then for divesting Ms. Kaur of her administrative powers before her scheduled retirement.

(By Rakesh Ranjan and M K Shukla)

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