The incomplete division of IAS and IPS officers between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana has come into focus again after a senior bureaucrat secured an order from the Central Administrative Tribunal, posting her to Andhra. Y Srilakshmi, a 1988 batch IAS officer of Telangana cadre, will be inducted into the Andhra Pradesh cadre. The IAS officer was allotted to Telangana post bifurcation of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh but had approached the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in Hyderabad seeking a transfer to Andhra Pradesh.
The CAT ruled in favour of the officer in November and the Andhra Pradesh government on Saturday evening issued a Government Order confirming her induction.
Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney said Srilakshmi reported to duty in Andhra Pradesh on December 10 itself and has joined duty with immediate effect. Her appointment is, however, subject to confirmation from the Union Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
The appointment comes when YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government was sitting over a decision on withdrawing pending court litigation on the cadre division matter. Post bifurcation, both states had filed cases over a series of orders by the CAT over allocation of IAS and IPS officers to the two-state cadres.
More than five years after the bifurcation, the Telangana government last year wrote to the Centre consenting to withdraw the case in the High Courts. Andhra Pradesh government, too, late last year agreed to withdraw the case pertaining to only one IAS officer and wrote to the DoPT accordingly.
Srilakshmi is not a party in the original CAT orders secured by several other IAS and IPS officers after the state bifurcation in June 2014. She was heading the Telangana Department of Public Enterprises in the capacity of Principal Secretary. The officer was earlier the fourth accused and was arrested in a corruption case over alleged irregularities in allotment of mines to Obulapuram Mining Corporation (OMC) in Anantapur district. The officer had accused Sabitha Indra Reddy, the then Minister of Mines under the YS Rajashekar Reddy government of involvement in the case. Sabitha is presently a minister with the Telangana government.
Srilakshmi had earlier met Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister on May 31 seeking a transfer to Andhra Pradesh cadre. She had also reportedly met Union Home Minister Amit Shah, seeking his intervention, reported The New Indian Express.
As this particular case is linked to the consolidated petition related to several other officers, the DoPT has not yet responded, highly-placed sources in the state government told PTI.
According to the sources, the aggrieved bureaucrats have been waiting for the AP government to take a call to resolve the cadre division issue, which has been stuck in a legal tangle for six years. The Telangana government says they are ready to implement the CAT orders.
At least 11 IAS and six IPS officers approached the CAT soon after the Centre made the cadre allotment after bifurcation. The CAT ruled in favour of the officers and directed that they be given the cadre of their choice. Subsequently, three other IPS officers also filed petitions in the CAT seeking similar relief but their cases are still pending disposal.
The AP government subsequently filed a petition in the then combined High Court of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh challenging the CAT orders. The HC did not pass any interim orders in this regard and the petition remained pending. As the cadre allocating authority, the DoPT has also been a party to the petition in the court, sources said.
The AP Principal Finance Secretary Shamsher Singh Rawat (1992) is also waiting for the DoPT call to join Telangana cadre, his preferred choice. Somesh Kumar (1989), A Vani Prasad (1995), Vakati Karuna (2004), Ronald Rose (2006), M Prasanthi (2009) and Amrapali Kata (2010) have been continuing in Telangana as per their choice though they were allotted to Andhra.
Amrapali is currently on Central deputation in the Prime Ministers Office. Similarly, Ch Hari Kiran (2009), Siva Sankar Lotheti, G Srijana (both 2013) are serving in Andhra, though allotted to Telangana.
If the DoPT concedes to the stateās request, these officers will remain in the cadres of their choice, as per the CAT orders.
In the case of IPS officers, Santosh Mehra (1987), Anjani Kumar (1990), Abhilasha Bisht (1994), J Muralidhar, L S Chowhan and J Parimala Hana Nutan (all three promotes) have been working in Telangana, though allotted to Andhra.
Three others - Harish Gupta (1992), Amit Garg (1993) and Atul Singh (1995) - challenged in CAT their allotment to Andhra against their choice of Telangana. Their cases were still pending before the CAT as they were filed after the disposal of other petitions in favour of the respective officers. Both Garg and Atul Singh are now on Central deputation.