HRD Min asked to consider plea of whistleblower against dismissal
New Delhi, Mar 2: The Central Information Commission today recommended HRD Minister Smriti Irani to "positively" consider plea of a whistleblower against his dismissal after he exposed alleged corruption in EdCIL, saying it will instil moral courage among whistleblowers.
"The Commission also finds that the appellant is a recognised whistleblower by CVC and deserves protection. He was subjected to unnecessary harassment for the last two years," Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu pointed out.
The case related to one Rajesh Gauhari, who claimed to have exposed corruption in EdCIL following which he was dismissed from service. He claimed that his appeal against the dismissal from the service was not put up to the President inspite of the same recommended by the then Human Resources Minister.
The then Additional Secretary Amita Sharma had dismissed the appeal, saying it was time barred whereas Gauhari claimed that appeals before the President do not have any time limit. Gauhari filed an RTI application to know the status of his representation.
Not getting satisfactory reply he approached the Commission to know what happened to his representation, why it was not placed before the Minister and why it was wrongly claimed that his representation was time barred, especially when there was no time limitation in such cases.
"...there is merit in the appeal of the appellant against imposition of disproportionate penalty against him for certain irregularities.It appears that the representation of the appellant was not placed before the Minister for the last 2 years," Acharyulu noted.
The appellant is alleging that some unknown people are obstructing placement of his representation before the Minister, he said. "The appellant has the right to know the action taken on his representation which depended upon bringing the same before the Honble Minister for HRD.
If the whistleblower like the appellant is not protected, and bureaucratic redtapism prevents his representation from being considered by the Hon'ble Minister, it will be impossible for the political executive government at the Centre to fulfill its commitment to fight against corruption," he said.