Babu War in Ker­ala

The state’s top civil ser­vants are at each other’s throats

India Today - - STATES - By Jeemon Ja­cob

Sev­eral se­nior civil ser­vants in Ker­ala ap­plied for ca­sual leave on Jan­uary 9 to protest the state vig­i­lance de­part­ment reg­is­ter­ing cases against them. The im­me­di­ate cat­a­lyst was a chargesheet brought against ad­di­tional chief sec­re­tary for in­dus­tries, Paul Antony, in the nepo­tism case against for­mer in­dus­tries min­is­ter E.P. Ja­yara­jan. The mass leave protest even­tu­ally didn’t hap­pen. But af­ter six months of the new Left Front gov­ern­ment, a bu­reau­cratic dog­fight is drag­ging the ad­min­is­tra­tion down in the state.

Se­nior bu­reau­crats say vig­i­lance di­rec­tor Ja­cob Thomas is “mis­us­ing the de­part­ment to trap fel­low of­fi­cers who exposed his own cor­rup­tion in the past”. The lat­est of­fi­cial in the web is chief sec­re­tary S.M. Vi­jayanand, tar­geted in a case reg­is­tered on Novem­ber 9 last year,

Those prob­ing the ‘charges’ are them­selves un­der the scan­ner

for al­legedly de­lay­ing a probe against for­mer state in­tel­li­gence chief and ad­di­tional DGP, R. Sreelekha. “I’m least both­ered about what hap­pens to me in the fu­ture. I’ve served the gov­ern­ment and the peo­ple with the ut­most sin­cer­ity and in­tegrity,” says Vi­jayanand. Some of the oth­ers fac­ing the ‘vig­i­lance witch­hunt’ are ad­di­tional chief sec­re­taries K.M. Abra­ham and Tom Jose.

Iron­i­cally, those re­spon­si­ble for in­ves­ti­gat­ing the ‘charges’, are them­selves un­der the scan­ner. Nalini Netto, ad­di­tional chief sec­re­tary for home, for in­stance, is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated on charges of ‘ma­nip­u­lat­ing gov­ern­ment files’ to en­sure the sack­ing of ex­DGP (law and or­der) T.P. Senku­mar. And vig­i­lance chief Thomas faces a ‘mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of funds’ charge from the time he was ports di­rec­tor (2012­15).

NOT MY PROB­LEM: CM Pi­narayi Vi­jayan (left) with IAS of­fi­cers at a meet­ing

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