U Sagayam IAS has opted for voluntary retirement from government service at a time when he still has three years of service left. His decision to opt for early retirement has led to speculations that he may join politics, with the Assembly election in the state only a few months away. The 57-year-old IAS officer has worked extensively against the granite mining lobby and has also faced threats to his life.
According to reports, Ubagaram Pillai Sagayam applied for voluntary retirement on October 2 and he may be relieved by next month. He currently serves as Vice Chairman of Science City, Chennai. The officer is running Makkal Pathai, a trust that aims to reform the society. Many retired IAS officers are also part of the trust.
U Sagayam started his career as a Central government employee but he quit his job to serve the people of Tamil Nadu. He cleared the Tamil Nadu government service exams and was initially appointed as Group I officer. He has reportedly been transferred 25 times in his career spanning 30 years.
The officer is known for strict action against law breakers. Early in his career, he received a complaint about dirt found in Pepsi bottles and he went to seal the production unit in Kancheepuram.
The IAS officer is also famous for honest practices and the Election Commission, taking a note of his career record, posted him as the Collector of Madurai in 2011, a constituency that reported bribing of voters.
The officer then became a known face among the people after he took up the granite case investigation.
An RTI petition revealed that Sagayam sent a report to top officials regarding massive swindling of money by quarry operators in Madurai district. Following this, he was transferred to Cooptex. However, the High Court appointed him as a legal commissioner to probe the scam. He brought out many scams involving granite mining and also faced threats due to this.
The officer became a viral face in September 2015 when he slept in the graveyard at E Mallampati during the exhumation of bodies of people who were reportedly given as human sacrifice by quarry operators. He spent the whole night in the open to avoid destruction of evidence.
The officer was later transferred to his current posting of Vice Chairman of Science City, Chennai.