Bureaucracy
A Home Ministry statement of charges accused the officer of dereliction of duty, insubordination and adoption of dilatory tactics.

Two months after he resigned from the Indian Administrative Services in protest, IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan now faces ‘charges’ from the central government. 

The officer quit on August 21 to protest against the suspension of civil rights and clampdown in Jammu and Kashmir by the Government of India. 

According to a Twitter thread by Kannan IAS, the Ministry of Home affairs sent him a memorandum with an attached statement of charges via email. The charges in the memo which accused him of ‘dereliction of duty, adoption of dilatory tactics and insubordination’ were: 

  1. He did not process files on time 
  2. He delayed underground cabling work and shifting of electric poles, while functioning as the Managing Director of the DNH power distribution company.
  3. He did not submit a tour report after attending 2018 flood relief operations in Kerala
  4. He did not submit file relating to nominations for Prime Ministers award for state/union territory for innovation in public administration. 
  5. He submitted files directly to to the administrator of Dadra and Nagar Haveli instead of routing the same through the controlling officer. 

The final charge against him was related to causing embarrassment to the Government of India by “unauthorisedly communicating with Print, Electronic and Social media on issues of Government policies”.

The Home Ministry also ordered the officer to respond with a written statement within 15 days of the receipt of the memorandum, which asks him to specifically deny or accept the charges raised against him. 

Taking a jibe at the charges, Kannan tweeted 

“Here it is warning me to not bring any political influence. Who is capable of politically influencing Home Minister of India other than AmitShah. Now if only I could influence him. But let me try anyway. Sir, please restore fundamental rights in Kashmir.” 

The IAS officer also posted images of his written response which denies all charges levied against him with proof of the work he had carried out in the Union Territory of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli in various capacities and the review he received from the Home Ministry regarding his work. The officer added that he had received an annual performance assessment report (APAR) score of 9.95 out of 10 for the work done in the year 2017-18.

TNM contacted the IAS officer who said that despite submitting written responses to the charges, the Home Ministry refused to entertain them and has decided to proceed with an ‘inquiry’. 

“Strangely they have also marked the vigilance department in the process, probably in a bid to delay processing my resignation which I had tendered back in August,” he said. 

In another tweet he added, “If this is the way Home Minister targets officers, no wonder PM Narendra Modi is upset ki aapne 5 saal unki barbaad kar diya (we ruined 5 years of his government) Sad! After 5 years of enlightened leadership one would expect you to be masters in intimidation and targeted harassment at least,” he tweeted. 

In his latest tweet, the officer had also asked if people “still have hope of justice from the Supreme Court,” after the apex court refused to hear petitions against the human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir in an urgent manner. 

“Human rights violations are a serious issue. It’s disappointing to know that the court has not taken up the matter in an urgent way,” he said.

His tweet read, “Some dear lawyer friends from Supreme Court are asking me to share this frivolous chargesheet with them. To teach the Govt a lesson in the SC. I couldn't control my laughter. People still have hope of justice from the SC? That too in a case against Govt?” he wrote.