In what is perhaps the first such protest in Kerala, IAS officers in the state are planning to go on mass casual leave on Monday to protest against Vigilance department director Jacob Thomas’s alleged “abuse of power” and registration of cases against senior bureaucrats.
The IAS association met on Saturday and decided to take the issue to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
This protest comes a day after additional chief secretary (industries) Paul Antony was named as an accused in the vigilance probe against CPI (M) leader and former industries minister EP Jayarajan over appointments row.
For the last few months, the IAS fraternity in Kerala has been expressing its discontent as many among them including additional chief secretary KM Abraham, Padmakumar, former managing director, Malabar Cements Limited and Tom Jose are facing the heat due to Vigilance enquiries.
“We are requesting our colleagues of the Kerala IAS Association to avail one day’s casual leave on January 9, 2017 to express our sadness, frustration and professional dissatisfaction and to show our solidarity with our aggrieved colleges, in allowing the present vigilance director to continue abusing his powers,” the circular passed after the meeting reads.
The circular also requested officers who attend to emergency duties to of law and order or other critical duties, particularly in the post of district collector and sub collectors, to be in their offices and attend to their work.
“We the officers who have reason to believe that the action by the vigilance director against our senior colleague was motivated in vindictive retaliation primarily due to the fact that he took the view that the arrest of Mr Padmakumar former MD Malabar Cements Ltd was in gross violation of all legal norms and principles of natural justice.
In the past few months there have been other instances when the vigilance director had unleashed vindictive actions against officers who have either pointed out his illegal misdoings or questioned his powers to the take the law into his hands,” the circular adds.
Though this is the first time that district collectors have openly expressed their discontent, earlier state secretaries had expressed anguish against vigilance director.