Monday, November 29, 1999

Inquiry against IAS officer stayed

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Chennai, Jun 16 (PTI) The Madras High Court today stayed an inquiry into alleged accumulation of unaccounted wealth by IAS officer C Umashankar. The interim injunction, effective till June 28, was issued by Justice V Dhanapalan on a petition by the officer seeking stay on proceedings against him by the Tamil Nadu government. The inquiry was initiated against Umashankar following a letter by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption to the state government, charging him with accumulating wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income. The judge opined that the jurisdictional question could be decided only after counter affidavit was filed and directed the government to file its counter. The petition was posted for hearing on June 28. In the petition, Umashankar said he was selected by UPSC for appointment as IAS officer and joined Tamil Nadu cadre in 1991. In October 2008, he was transferred as MD, Arasu Cable TV Corporation. Disciplinary proceedings were initiated against him to deny him promotion as Joint Secretary to Union Government after he submitted a proposal to nationalise Sumangali Cable Vision, he claimed. He moved the Central Administrative Tribunal, which stayed the disciplinary proceedings. The officer said a DSP in DVAC sent him a letter dated May 6 asking him to answer queries on his wealth. He said police was free to register an FIR against him if there was credible information warranting action under the Prevention of Corruption Act. However, the police officer, under guise of inquiry, could not be ''let loose'' on him, his family members, relatives and friends, he said, alleging abuse of power by police. If departmental action was needed, it should be under All India Services Act or under Public Servants Enquiries Act, he contended and alleged that the inquiry was illegal, arbitrary, without authority of law and malicious.

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