Senior official sacked for 24-year absence

Senior official sacked for 24-year absence

Senior official sacked for 24-year absence

A senior government official was dismissed from service, on the direction of Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, for staying away from his job for 24 years.

A K Verma had joined the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) in 1980 as Assistant Executive Engineer. He had proceeded on earned leave in December 1990 never to report to work again.

Verma’s case came to the notice of the government officials during a review of pending vigilance and disciplinary action cases in the Urban Development Ministry after Naidu assumed office in May last year.

It turned out that the government had ordered an inquiry into his absence way back in September 1992. The inquiry could not move forward due to non-cooperation by Verma. A fresh charge sheet was issued in the case in 2005. The inquiry report establishing the charge of “wilful absence from duty” was submitted to the Urban Development Minister in July 2007.

“The then Minister of Urban Development had accepted this in August, 2007. But no action was taken in the matter,” a statement from the Urban Development Ministry said.

Seeking to streamline the functioning of the CPWD and to ensure accountability, Naidu had directed review of pending vigilance and disciplinary cases for expeditious action against the accused.

“Verma’s case surfaced in due course and Naidu directed his dismissal from service,” the statement said.

Taking serious view of inaction since 2007, Naidu has also issued directions to fix responsibility for delay in the matter.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cracked down on rampant absenteeism by making bureaucrats sign in at work using a fingerprint scanner.