Shunted GAS officer resorts to RTI
AS reported by Rahul Mangaonkar, 13 May 2008, 0320 hrs IST,TNN
AHMEDABAD: For a state government which recently had a GAS promotee IAS officer touching Chief Minister Narendra Modi's feet, this could be another bitter pill to swallow. NM Chavda was the only officer of the 11 who were selected by the UPSC in 2006 for promotion from Gujarat Administrative Service (GAS) to Indian Administrative Service (IAS), but was not appointed.
He has scored a victory using Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Chavda, whose father Motibhai Chavda was a minister in the Madhavsinh Solanki government, was number six on the list for promotion to IAS from GAS prepared by UPSC.
But as the state government withheld his integrity certificate, writing to the UPSC that there was one application pending against Chavda, his appointment was held in abeyance.
After failing to get answers from the state government on the reasons for this, Chavda filed an application under RTI to the public information officer (PIO) of UPSC.
He sought a copy of proceedings of UPSC selection committee meetings (SCM) from 2003 to 2005 for promotion of state civil service officers to IAS. He also asked for copies of the correspondence from September 1, 2003 till March 31, 2006 between UPSC and the state government regarding his selection.
The PIO of UPSC refused to furnish details of SCM proceedings stating that it contained information in respect to other officers and sharing of this required a policy decision to be taken by the central government, which was awaited. But that part of SCM from 2003 till 2005 regarding officers included in the zone of consideration, those selected for appointment to the IAS can be supplied.
Chavda's first appeal was disposed of by the UPSC upholding the PIO's decision. He was told that pending the decision of the government, UPSC had taken a policy decision that information should not be disclosed to anybody till decided by department of personnel and training (DoPT).
Before the CIC, Chavda appealed seeking that UPSC's decision be set aside and that at least information pertaining to him be given after application of the severability clause.
Responding to the appeal notice sent by CIC, the PIO of UPSC Richa Misra replied that without going into the merits of the grounds indicated in the appeal, following CIC's decision in the case of UPSC and Jyoti Legha, UPSC, through its order of October 16, 2007, had decided to furnish copies of SCM proceedings.
But this would be after severing the portion of the proceedings which
indicates the 'overall relative assessment'. Complete copies of the SCM proceedings minus the portion indicating overall relative assessment could be provided. This being acceptable to Chavda, UPSC officials handed it to him at the hearing.
According to Chavda, who had been trying to get this information for the last two years, the information would now help him in his case before the Gujarat High Court.