By- Manglien Gangte
Condemning the high handedness and undue interference by the officials of TA&Hills/TRI in W.P.(C). 1096 of 2018, an application is submitted to the Hon’ble Chief Minister today and a copy is also submitted to the concerned Tribal Minister, Chief Secretary, Special Secy./Director/HoD, TA&Hills/TRI and Joint Director, TRI to revoke all illegal orders issued in favour of AO cum RO of TRI. It is pertinent to mentioned that the controversial recruitment of the incumbent AO cum RO, TRI is pending with Vigilance and Anti Corruption Department under Case No. 13/V/SP-V&AC/2018. Moreover, W.P.(C) Case No. 1096 of 2018 is also pending in the Hon’ble High Court of Manipur. The Hon’ble High Court had also stayed the regularization of the AO cum RO of TRI on 27th Nov. 2018 with the observation that “The regularization of the Private Respondent (i.e AO cum RO) shall be subject to the outcome of this writ petition”. Therefore, as per High Court order AO cum RO of TRI is not a regular employee but under trial. That, a legal notice dated 20th Dec. 2018 was also served to all the respondents of TA&Hills/TRI including Finance department to comply with the Court order.
Whereas, the officials of TA&Hills/TRI at the behest of the controversial AO cum RO, TRI, Mr John Gaidingam D. had manipulated official and legal norm by issuing orders dishonouring the High Court order. The former Director/HoD, TA&Hills/TRI, Shri Joseph Pauline Kamson is found issuing illegal orders No.30/35/2010-TRI (Pt.) dated 22nd December, 2018 rectifying the U.O.No. of Mr. John when he was serving as Research Officer on contract basis. But the rectified U.O.No. was that of one Research Officer who died untimely and not of Mr. John. The U.O no. mentions in his appointment order and contract agreement was already found to be a fake one according to an RTI reply dated 10/7/2018 (No.38/141/2018-FD(PIC) RTI) from the SPIO/Dy. Secretary, Finance Department (PIC). Moreover, the case is already pending in high Court. So how can the Director/HoD or anybody rectify or modified anything regarding a matter during this subjudice period. Why don’t they honour the Court Order?
An RTI dated 26th March, 2019 is filed to the SPIO/ Director, TA&Hills/TRI seeking information whether the rectification orders dated 22nd Dec. 2019 was issued after taking approval from the AD or Finance department and also to provide me the the office note sheet/file noting, names and designations of the officers and staffs who were involved in processing the File No. 30/35/2010-TRI (Pt.).
After almost three month, I received an RTI reply dated 7th June, 2019 (No.12/27/2013-TRI) from the former Director, Shri Joseph Pauline Kamson. Without application of his mind, he blatantly denied information citing exemption under RTI Act. Such attitude is strongly opposed therefore an appeal is filed to the FAA/ ACS, TA &Hills but the same is disposed that the information falls under exemption from RTI which is totally a misleading and ill intention statement. The said RTI information is sought under Section 6 (1) and Section 2 (f) of the RTI Act, 2005 and according to Central Information Commission (RTI Regulator) Decision No. ICPB/A-1/CIC/2006 dated 31st January 2006 “a citizen has the right to seek information contained in the file notings and no file (or information) would be complete without note-sheets having file notings”. As such, “File notings are not, as a matter of law, exempt from disclosure”. Since the file noting resulted in issuing of the rectification Orders dated 22nd December, 2018 it is already in public domain. Hence, the file noting leading to the issuance of the rectifications orders dated 22nd Dec. 2018 should be open and not personal in nature. Therefore, it is definitely disclosable under the RTI Act and does not fall under exemption. So the appeal to the TA&Hills/TRI felt into deaf ear which means that no approval was taken from the AD or Finance Department and former Director did so at his own capacity favouring the AO cum RO, TRI. Hence, the illegal order dated 22nd December, 2019 issued during subjudice by the Director/HoD Shri Joseph Pauline Kamson should be revoke immediately. Such attitude of the public authority is not only harmful to the public but prove to be self destructive in the long run.
Moreover, the former Director/HoD is found issuing another illegal order dated 1st March, 2019 (No. 1/6/2017 (Pt.) TRI) wherein he has transferred all power to the officer AO cum RO who is on trial. In the said orders the Director surprisingly placed the Account Officer of TRI in the top hierarchy which does not make sense. By protocol, an MFS officer is below Dy. Director. So by rank she should be placed after AO cum RO who is presently enjoying the pay band of Dy. Director. She is also found to be addressed as Head of Office/HoO in the said orders. So I enquired through RTI application whether there was any official order from DP or AD (TA&Hills) allotting Account officer, TRI as Head of Office (HoO) of TRI too? The former Director again replies illogically that by virtue of being the Accounts Officer of TRI, Manipur she is the HoO, of TRI. There is no objection over Account Officer to serve as HoO of TRI or others provided if duly appointed by the Government. But so far, as per DP orders dated 19th June, 2018 she was transfer as Chief Finance Officer (TA&Hills) and ex-officio AO/TRI in addition but there is no mentioning of her being the Head of Office (HoO) of TRI. Therefore, such breach in protocol created by the former Director/HoO has created confusion among the general public and me as an individual (petitioner). Therefore, this illegal order dated 1st March, 2019 issued during subjudice period allotting all power to an officer under trial must be revoke immediately.
Subsequently, the said HoO is found to have extended the service of the incumbent AO cum RO, TRI for the year 2019-2020 knowing well that his regularization is stayed by the high court on 27th Nov. 2018. Moreover, it is found in the extension statement that AO cum RO belongs to Group-B post and the present status of AO cum RO, TRI is regular which is totally wrong. Therefore such unlawful extension letter and statement dated 20th March, 2019 (No.1/37/2011-TRI/89 and subsequent other letter or order resulting from it should be revoke immediately since this falls during subjudice period. In reality, AO cum RO, TRI belongs to GROUP-A Gazetted post with Pay Band of Rs.9300-34800+GP. Rs.5400.
That, I filed another RTI bearing IPO No. 40F 407554 and IPO No.40F 407555 to kindly furnish me the pay slip/expenditure sanction letter in respect of AO cum RO of TRI for the period November - December 2018, January - February 2019 (four months). But again after letting me wait for almost three months, the Director and Account Officer has incorrectly denied information to me by refusing to disclose the pay slip/expenditure sanction of AO cum RO, TRI (Mr. John Gaidingam D.) citing exemption under section 8 (1) (j) under RTI Act.
Though I strongly object and filed an appeal on 26th June, 2019, the Department refused to provide me the same citing exemption under RTI Act. I therefore object to such wrongful and misleading statement by the then Director/HoD, Shri Joseph Pauline Kamson as I did not sought details of the AO cum RO, (TRI) salary account like his expenditure towards Provident fund, policy, insurances, loans, savings etc. Salary/Pay of any public officer is paid from the Government ex-chequer and every citizens of this country has the right to know the pay and emoluments of a public official. Such information cannot be withheld on the ground that it was personal income of an employee.
I have earlier submitted a complaint on 6th May, 2019 regarding the same and I have found that DP has sought detailed report from the AD, TA&Hills/TRI vide letter No.23/16/2019-MISC/DP dated 29th May, 2019. Even after 5 month the AD, TA&Hills/TRI had not submitted the report. I have learnt that DP has written another reminder on 19th September, 2019 to the ACS, TA&Hills. But so far there is no report of action taken. Rather it is found that former Director/HoD is transfer to higher post as DC Ukhrul and the incumbent officer AO cum RO,TRI is enjoying full power and full regular salary illegally while the state is reeling in overdraft.
The said AO cum RO is said to be regularized on 24th Dec, 2016 and surprisingly the post itself is also sanction only on 24th Dec, 2016 which means that he was found regularised on the same day the post was created. Besides this, according to an RTI reply from DP there is no RR frame till today for the post of AO cum RO. The present AO cum RO is previously engaged as Research Officer on contract basis in monthly remuneration of Rs.13,700/-p.m.i.e.Rs.9300+GP Rs.4400 but within 5 months he was found regularized into different and higher post without DPC and RR and also his pay scale jump three fold higher Rs.9300-34800+GP Rs.5400/- which is equivalent to MCS and Dy. Director pay scale. It is totally unlawful to increase the salary of AO cum RO, Mr, John Gaidingam D. three fold higher from his initial Grade Pay Rs.4400 (RO) by skipping Rs.4600, Rs.4800 to Grade Pay Rs.5400 (AO cum RO) without promotion whatsoever. And it is also a complete violation of the rights of other thousands of officers working with Grade Pay of Rs.4400, Rs.4600 and Rs.4800 under Manipur Govt. Then the questions arise - Don’t the other employees also have the legitimate right to enjoy the same status as enjoy by the AO cum RO of TRI?
I have been patiently and lawfully dealing as the matter is in the hon’ble High Court but such undue interference from the officials and disobedience of the high court order has created an obstruction in getting me justice. Since the matter is pending in Court, it will not be wise to open the Pandora Box. Therefore, the officials of TA&Hills/ TRI as public authority are once again requested not to complicate the matter and attract legal complicacy.
Therefore, having faith in the Govt. under the able leadership of our Chief Minister an application is submitted which is also a reminder of my earlier complaint letter dated 6th May, 2109. Hon’ble Chief Minister is requested to issue directive to revoke orders regarding file
(i) No. 30/35/2010-TRI(Pt.) dated 22nd December, 2019
(ii) No.1/6/2017 (Pt) TRI dated 1st March, 2019
(iii) No.1/37/2011-TRI/89 dated 20th March, 2019 and
(iv) All others subsequent orders issued in favour of AO cum RO, TRI during this subjudice period (27/11/2018 - )
(v) Take disciplinary action against corrupt officials of TA&Hills/TRI
(vi) Recover the salary wrongly enjoyed by AO cum RO till date
(vii) Discontinue officials engagement during his trial period
(viii) And also to give strict instruction to the officials/staffs of TA&Hills/TRI to maintain protocol and work sincerely in public interest by keeping aside their personal and selfish interest.
It is also appeal to the officials/Staffs, TA&Hills/TRI to comply and honour the Court Stayed Order and also to the public, students Organizations, leaders or any individual not to give undue pressure in any form to the petitioner and wait patiently for the final verdict of the Hon’ble High Court on 11th December, 2019.
By- Manglien Gangte