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India's envoy to New Zealand defies transfer order

By Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 15 (UNI) Defying his recall, India's High Commissioner to New Zealand, Harish Kumar Dogra has proceeded on a long leave.

Mr Dogra, who has petitioned the Central Administrative Tribubal (CAT) challenging his recall, has, however, agreed to vacate his official residence in Wellington, sources said today.

Before going on leave till the expected retirement of Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran in September, the envoy handed over charge to the Deputy Chief of Mission, the sources said.

In his petition filed with the CAT, which has since issued notice to Mr Saran and the Centre, Mr Dogra contended that while transfer of envoys was a routine thing, any ''recall,'' viewed as a punitive action, could be done only after serving of notice and holding of an inquiry, which should prove any charge levelled against any official.

The envoy had charged Mr Saran with taking action against him due to some ''personal grouse'' and also maintained that Secretary (East) Rajiv Sikri was also behind the punitive move.

UNI RB/SN AK VC2040

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