54 IAS officers show-caused for skipping Independence Day event

DEHRADUN: In an unprecedented action against bureaucrats who skipped flag-hoisting functions organised on August 15, the state government on Thursday issued show-cause notices to as many as 54 IAS officers, including those in senior posts like additional secretary and principal secretary. The Uttarakhand cadre has 87 IAS officers of which 10 are currently on deputation.Among those who have been served notices are 46 additional secretaries, one principal secretary, five secretaries-in-charge and two secretaries. These officers have been instructed in the notice to file their replies at the earliest. If the explanation is not found satisfactory, the state government is believed to have warned the officers of an adverse entry in their annual confidential report (ACR).Sources said that the action against the bureaucrats was precipitated by the fact that the main flag-hoisting event in the state at Parade Ground in Dehradun, where CM Trivendra Singh Rawat was present, saw a turnout of only 10-odd bureaucrats. Soon after the event, an incensed Rawat had announced “stringent action against all those who were missing from the flag-hoisting without a valid reason”.Besides serving notices to IAS officers, chief secretary S Ramaswamy also directed all district magistrates and heads of departments to prepare a list of employees from their respective departments who were not present at the Independence Day function. The list is likely to be finalised in the next few days and action taken against the absentees whose numbers may well be in a few thousands, sources in the secretariat said.A senior officer who has served in Uttarakhand for many years told TOI that the show-cause notices had caused a flutter in bureaucratic circles. “Ever since the state was created 17 years ago, this is the first instance when such stringent action has been initiated against officials for not attending an Independence Day event. On a few occasions earlier, there have been warnings given but never has the issue been taken up with such seriousness,” he said.

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