Ranchi : Again a historical victory for RTI. It was impossible earlier to check misuse of power by VIPs. But the RTI has made it very simple. You can expose any misuse of power by just paying ten rupees. Union Minister of State for Food Processing Subodh Kant Sahay had misused his power to transfer a CCL officer. This has been exposed through RTI. Based on the information, Jharkhand High Court has stayed the transfer. The court has also issued notice to the Minister to explain his role in such an illegal transfer. Hitesh Verma is an Executive IV grade officer in the public-sector company Coal India Limited. He was posted in its subsidiary company CCL (Central Coalfields limited) at Ranchi as Deputy Sales Manager.
In October 2006, he was transferred to MES, Assam. It was well known that the Union Minister had misused his power to harass him. But thanks to RTI, his mother Saroj Bala Verma filed an application for seeking 22 points reply related to the transfer. She demanded the policy of transfer in Coal India. She also sought information on why and on whose insistence her son was transferred. She also asked whether some other officers had also been transferred to Assam from CCL or to CCL from Assam or not.
In its reply, Coal India admitted that the transfer was based on the reference from a VIP. But Coal India was silent on the name of the VIP. The Mother sent a letter to the PM requesting to provide the name of the VIP. The PMO ordered the Coal Ministry to provide the requisite information. Ultimately, the Coal India Ministry disclosed the name of the VIP as Union Minister of State for Food Processing Subodh Kant Sahay. There was no reason for seeking this transfer and Coal India had no administrative ground for such action. It was clear that the minister had wanted Verma transferred because of personal reasons. It was also clear that the transfer order violates CIL rules. The information reveals that CCL had not transferred any of its officers in E4 grade, to which he belongs, to the Assam coalfields or vice-versa in the past five years. Therefore, the transfer of Hitesh Verma was malafied. Based on this information, Hihesh Verma moved the Jharkhand High Court. The Court of Justice R.K Merathia passed the order on August 30, 2007 to stay the transfer order and to withdraw the relieving order. The court also issued a notice to the Minister for Food Processing Subodh Kant Sahay seeking an explanation over the transfer.
Why did the Minister misuse his power?
This is a tragic family like story. Mr. Sahay is the MP from Ranchi. His niece Sanjana was married to the officer, Hitesh Verma in 1993. They enjoyed a happily married life for 12 years, had two lovely intelligent children Avaneesh (now 12) and Aishani (now 6). But a sad incident collapsed everything. Due to illness, Sanjana died on October 13, 2004 in spite of best possible treatment. But the sorrow for Hitesh was not over. His in-laws lodged a case of torture for Dowry (after 12 years) and MURDER! He was put behind bars since October 2004 to December 2005. He was also suspended from CCL during his jail period. After getting bail, he also got his suspension over and he joined his duty again. But in October 2006, he was transferred to Assam by pressure of the Minister.