Delhi govt issues showcause to services secretary for disregarding order

No reply has been received from More on the showcause notice issued to him by Services Department Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj on May 13, said a Delhi government official

Press Trust of India New Delhi
Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj. (Photo: PTI)

Saurabh Bhardwaj. (Photo: PTI)

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The Delhi government has issued a showcause notice to IAS officer and services department secretary Ashish More and threatened disciplinary action against him for not complying with his transfer order and allegedly going incommunicado.

More was removed by the Delhi government from his post last Thursday in an order issued hours after the Supreme Court gave the AAP dispensation control over the transfer and posting of officers in the state.

No reply has been received from More on the showcause notice issued to him by Services Department Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj on May 13, said a Delhi government official.

More was unavailable for comments.

In a memo to More, Bhardwaj had sought his response within 24 hours over charges that he refused to comply with the transfer order.

The services minister also cited that various attempts to communicate with the officer through phone calls as well as WhatsApp messages did not bore any results and he that was "absconding" as he has not informed about being on a leave.

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"More has caused Special Secretary (Services) to issue a note on May 11, in which the directions issued by the minister were refused to be complied," said the memo from Bhardwaj.

More was called by the minister, informed about the SC judgment and was directed to put up a file for his transfer and posting another suitable officer in his place. It was assured by More that the relevant file will be put up to the minister before 3 pm, it claimed.

"Instead of putting up the file, More left the Secretariat without informing the minister or his office. The minister and his office kept trying to reach More on his office phone and his mobile phone number, but he did not respond to the calls," claimed the memo.

It further claimed that the officer switched off his mobile phone and "chose to ignore" several attempts to contact him.

"An official note was sent at the residence of More from the minister. Though More was inside his house, he chose to not even receive the said official note. The noting was later sent to More through email and whatsapp," it said and added More did not attend a meeting called by the minister on May 13.

It was informed by special secretary (services) that More was "perhaps" on leave but the minister found that neither he nor his office had any information that he applied for any leave and "unauthorisedly" remained absent from duty.

"...conduct of Ashish Madhavrao More, secretary (services) has revealed that his conduct his highly unbecoming of an IAS officer of the rank secretary to the GNCTD, he is not politically neutral, he has deliberately denied to uphold the supremacy of the Constitution and democratic values. And, he has refused to maintain discipline by his conduct under extraneous considerations and failed to show professionalism and dedication," stated the minister's memo.

It directed More to show cause why disciplinary action against him should not be initiated and his performance appraisal report reflect that his "attitude to work" was "Obstructive and dubious" and his "decision making" was "biased".

"...from the conduct of More it is apparent that after knowing about intention of Delhi government to transfer him from the post of Secretary Services, he has been trying through illegal means to continue upon the said post for attaining some ulterior objectives," alleged the memo.

The AAP government had on Friday approached the Supreme Court alleging that the Centre was not implementing the transfer of services secretary More. Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud had said a bench would be constituted to hear the matter.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: May 15 2023 | 7:38 PM IST

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