Himachal gets time to shift tainted officials
In a temporary reprieve for the state government, the Himachal Pradesh High Court Friday gave it 12 days' time to shift functionaries of doubtful integrity from sensitive posts.
A division bench of Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice V.K. Sharma extended the time to shift 20 tainted officials from sensitive to non-sensitive posts till Jan 8.
It, however, directed officiating Chief Secretary P. Mitra to remain personally present along with the entire record of the officials if the orders were not complied with by the deadline.
The orders came on an application filed by Mitra seeking another two weeks' time to complete the transfer process.
The chief secretary submitted that 23 of the 43 officials of doubtful integrity have been shifted from sensitive to non-sensitive posts.
He added the exercise for the remaining could not be completed primarily due to winter session of the state assembly and also due to difficulties in identifying non-sensitive posts.
The next hearing is listed Jan 8.
The state Dec 2 pleaded with the court to either recall or modify its orders to transfer tainted officers.
An affidavit filed by Mitra said: "It's always the effort of the government to avoid posting such officers in sensitive posts."
"But since non-sensitive posts are not there in all cadres, hence, it may become unavoidable to post some officers in posts which cannot strictly be termed as non-sensitive."
The high court, hearing a plea of former drug controller Sher Singh Thakur, who appealed the departmental proceedings against him be set aside after he was convicted June 29, 2011 for corruption, had sought a list of government functionaries with doubtful integrity.
The high court, while hearing the plea, widened the scope of the matter to address the basic issue of tainted officers in sensitive posts.
(Posted on 27-12-2013)