Coronavirus: A Bihar cadre IAS officer feels ‘frustrated’ for not being able to serve people

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A Bihar cadre IAS officer with medical educational background feels “frustrated” for not being able to serve people during this difficult time of COVID-19 pandemic due to the coercive attitude” of the State government and some officials.

On the directive of the Supreme Court, young IAS officer Jitendra Gupta is currently waiting for his posting under inter-cadre request.

“Before joining civil services in 2013, I did my medical graduation and post graduation in (Orthopaedic) from Delhi…being an administrator with medical background, I feel frustrated for not being able to serve the people due to coercive attitude of the Bihar government and some officials there,” the IAS officer told The Hindu over phone from Delhi while adding, “in this time of crisis, arising out of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdown, I can be of great help to people in distress but unfortunately, I’m not being allowed to work”.

 

“Hadn’t I joined the job of civil service to serve people and reduce their suffering,” he asked.

“The Bihar government is paying me handsomely, my monthly salary and other allowances but not taking any work from me…in view of the court’s order it could have posted me at any establishment in Delhi or in Haryana but why it chose to pay me for free is best known to them…isn’t it ridiculous,” asked the officer, expressing willingness to serve humanity at this difficult time.

“I’m deeply pained by the fact that when the country and its people are facing extreme difficulties due to COVID-19 crisis and subsequent lockdown, I’m unable to serve them medically or professionally,” he said.

Transport mafia

In December 2015, Mr. Gutpa, a 2013 batch IAS officer, was posted as Sub-Divisional Magistrate in Mohania sub-division of Kaimur district in Bihar and had taken stern action against transport mafia, entry mafia in the border area and other wrongdoers to control “overloading of heavy vehicles and their rampant illegal parking on National Highway-2 by the police to make illegal monetary gains”.

“Following my action against them, the transport mafia connived with the Vigilance Bureau of the State government and hatched a conspiracy to frame me in a false and vexatious case and got a false complaint against me on July 8’ 2016 by a notorious transport and entry mafia of the area,” he alleges.

Later, “following a search at my residence on July 12 2016 by the Vigilance Bureau officers from Patna, I was arrested and sent to jail,” he said.

“The Vigilance Bureau officers, though, had not taken the required permission from competent authorities to search my residence,” he added.

Suspended in 2016

He was suspended on July 20, 2016. However, the IAS Officers’ Association, Bihar branch, had vehemently protested his “illegal arrest and high-handed action of the State Vigilance Bureau”.

Mr. Gupta later challenged the FIR in the Patna High Court through Criminal Writ Jurisdiction (case No: 1000/2016) and the court on October 28, 2020 quashed the FIR against him saying “the prosecution is based on falsehood”.

The State government, later, challenged the judgment of the Patna HC before the Supreme Court in Special Leave to Appeal (Crl. No: 805 / 2017) which too was dismissed at the admission stage (vide order dated 06.02.2017)”.

‘Threat to life’

“I faced serious threat to my life and liberty in Patna and, therefore, I requested for inter-cadre transfer from Bihar which was subsequently approved by the Central Administrative Tribunal in New Delhi, the Delhi High Court and later by the Supreme Court of India which in its order (dated 03.02.2020) asked the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) for my posting in Haryana in three weeks time but that order remains non-complied till date,” rued the officer.

“Now when I see the exodus of migrants, especially from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, following the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, on TV news channels and in newspapers I feel I would lose my mental balance,” said the IAS officer adding quickly, “don’t you think this is the time I can be of some help to them with my medical and administrative knowledge?”

The Bihar government officials refused to make any comment on Mr. Gupta’s issue saying “the matter is sub-judice”.

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