'Restore rights in Kashmir': Ex-IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan who quit over Article 370 abrogation slams MHA for 'chargesheet'

  • After tendering resignation, Gopinathan, who hails from Kottayam in Kerala, had said that in a democracy people have the right to respond to government decisions

  • Gopinathan tweeted his 'receipt' of the document on Wednesday, with a taunt directed at Amit Shah over the tussle between lawyers and the Delhi Police in the National Capital

  • Gopinathan, who submitted his resignation on 21 August was asked to rejoin the service till his resignation was processed and accepted

Former IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan, who resigned from his post as a secretary in the administrations of two Union Territories over the Centre's abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir in August, hit out at the government over an alleged "chargesheet" that has been sent to him by the home ministry.

Gopinathan, who had stated that he had resigned because the "denial of freedom of expression to the people of Jammu and Kashmir was not acceptable", shared details of the "chargesheet" in a series of tweets on Wednesday. The document, as shared by Gopinathan, alleges that the ex-IAS officer "had acted in a manner unbecoming of a government servant, which includes insubordination, adoption of dilatory tactics and dereliction of duty on various occasions.

"This shows grave misconduct on the part of Gopinathan as he failed to maintain absolute integrity, devotion to duty, thereby contravening the provisions of Rule-3 of the All India Service (Conduct) Rules 1968," the statement added.

On Tuesday, Gopinathan posted that the Daman and Diu administration had informed him of the allegations against him.

Gopinathan then tweeted his "receipt" of the document on Wednesday, with a taunt directed at Home Minister Amit Shah over the tussle between lawyers and the Delhi Police in the National Capital. "Well, @HMOIndia, I know it must be tough as you are unable to manage what’s happening between lawyers and police right under your nose. So in the interest of the nation, I do not want to trouble you more in your weak time. I acknowledge receipt," he said.

He also shared a picture of the first page of the document, saying, "Memo for departmental inquiry given after 2 months of submitting resignation. First page."

Gopinathan, who submitted his resignation on 21 August — two weeks after the Centre abrogated the laws that accorded Jammu and Kashmir a certain degree of autonomy — was asked to rejoin the service till his resignation was processed and accepted. Citing Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) rules, the notice posted by the Daman and Diu administration on 27 August, said  that a resignation by a government officer "becomes effective when it is accepted".

"Therefore, you are hereby directed to continue attending to your assigned duties immediately, till a decision is taken on your resignation," it said.

After tendering resignation, Gopinathan, who hails from the Kottayam district of Kerala, had said to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution was the "right of an elected government", but in a democracy people have the right to respond, too.

"After taking the decision on Kashmir, nearly 20 days have passed and even now, the people there are not allowed to react or respond to it and that is not acceptable in a democratic set-up. Personally, I could not accept it and continue in the service during such a time," he had said.

On Wednesday, Gopinathan also shared the "charges" filed against him in the "memo" by the administration. Additionally, he tweeted a part of the document which instructed him not to resort to "political influence" in the course of the case.

In response, Gopinathan took another jibe at Shah and said, "Who is capable of politically influencing (the Ministry of Home Affairs) other than Amit Shah? Now if only I could influence him. But let me try anyway. Sir, please restore fundamental rights in Kashmir."

In addition to Shah, Gopinathan took an apparent dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he shared a portion of the document that listed his refusal to continue as an officer of the administration till his resignation was accepted as a "grave misconduct". He said, "Next is that they are upset that I did not continue in Daman after submission of resignation," adding, in a reference to Modi's claim of having the wordly principles of a 'fakeer' (saint), "Fakeer aadmi hu na ab. Jhola uthake chal pada. Fakeeri yaad hoga."

Gopinathan also responded to the charge of creating a negative image of the Government of India because of his media interactions. He said, "It is your actions that creates such an image (sic). Not my interactions. But good to know that you have been watching them. Slowly you will learn about fundamental rights. That’s the plan."

In conclusion, the former IAS officer posted his initial response to the charges by the government.

The 32-year-old officer had first come into limelight when he hid his identity and joined in relief work during the 2018 Kerala floods.

Soon after Gopinathan resigned, S Sasikanth Senthil, a 2009 batch Karnataka cadre IAS officer and Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada district, also put in his papers from the civil services on 6 September, citing moral conflict in continuing to serve under the current government.

He said it would be 'unethical' to continue as a civil servant when "fundamental building blocks of diverse democracy are being compromised".

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Nov 06, 2019 21:14:24 IST