Officer cries foul, stops work

Chief Secretary Sudhakar Rao does not care about rules, accuses M N Vijayakumar

Officer cries foul, stops work

The IAS officer, though heard some cases as a member along with a judicial member, has refused to sign any judgments, orders written by the Judicial Member of the Bench. Nearly 40 cases heard by him in Court Hall II are now pending for final orders. The officer, in his capacity as member of the court, after hearing the cases has been writing on the orders that legality of his participation and also the bench's judgments written are subject to the legal issues raised by him with the government.

Vijayakumar, an officer of 1981 batch, is of principal secretary grade. He has been arguing that his appointment as the member is in violation of IAS (Cadre) Rules as well as KAT rules. The Chairman of the KAT is A Ramswamy, IAS officer of Additional Chief Secretary grade.

Vijayakumar has refused to attend the hearing of cases at KAT's camps in the divisional headquarters. He refused to attend the Belgaum camp on the grounds that there is a threat to his life. So, the KAT was forced to forgo three camps causing inconvenience to the litigants and advocates, according to official sources.

However, he attended a camp in Mysore. In May he had sought establishment of a special bench for the pronouncement of order pertaining to the Mysore camp. But on the next day, he refused to attend it. Surprisingly, the officer refused to sign the fair copy of judgements, orders in the open court while signing the drafts. Hence, in 23 cases, judgments, orders could not be pronounced.

That's not all. Vijayakumar, on March 12, has requested the Registrar of KAT to get a rubber stamp with the content, "…I have been forced to work as a member of the bench illegally by the Chief Secretary, Suhdhakar Rao."

Vijayakumar, 54 has been in news for last two years. He belongs to the Karnataka cadre. He has been saying that he is fighting against corruption and hence he has been troubled by his seniors. He was transferred six times between September 2006 and February 2007. He had complaints against P B Mahishi, who was the then chief secretary, saying that he was shielding corrupt officers. Now he is at logger heads with Chief Secretary Sudhakar Rao.

In the last few months he has written several letters to Sudhakar Rao, the President of India, the Lokayukta, the Secretary, Personnel, Government of India and the Prime Minister alleging that his posting to the KAT is illegal and he has not been provided with the facilities as that of a principal secretary grade officer.

The Department of Personnel and Administration has written to the KAT that there is no credible information to this effect.

Against these developments, KAT's registrar has written to the CS that the judicial work has come to a standstill in Court Hall II. Even if he passes orders by stating that his appointment is illegal, it amounts to 'Contempt of Court'. The government will find it difficult to defend itself if the matters goes to High Court. Hence, the government may seriously consider giving him some other posting and to transfer him from KAT.

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