As many as 28 district magistrates (DMs) have been served show cause notice by the Bihar government for leaving their headquarters to attend an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) body meet last month to express solidarity with Bihar Staff Selection Commission (BSSC) chairman Sudhir Kumar, who was arrested in connection with a paper leak scam. In case of unconvincing replies by the DMs, action can be taken against them, reported The Indian Express quoting sources.
In February, 128 serving and retired officers attended the meet in Patna and demanded a CBI probe into the paper leak case including the above-mentioned DMs. A top government source told IE that the chief secretary’s office issued the notice to the DMs seeking an explanation on whether they sought requisite permission before leaving headquarters and also asked them to cite valid reasons for the move. The commissioner sanctions leave for DMs.
According to the source, the government has a right to know why the DMs left headquarters. The source further said that if it is not convinced with their replies, action can be taken against them, adding that was the first time when such a big number of IAS officers left headquarters for Patna.
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Meanwhile, the DMs who were served the notice said they had sought due permission from the commissioner. One of the DMs who has been served with the notice, told IE, “We have right to attend the association meet. We know our service rules.”
Sudhir Kumar along with a senior IAS officer was arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) for connection in the BSSC exam paper leak case on February 24. Soon after this, the IAS Officers’ Association (Bihar Branch) expressed their anger and anguish through a press release which said, “Deeply angered & anguished by the manner in which SIT arrested BSSC chairman and senior IAS officer Sudhir Kumar.” It had further said that it would not take any verbal orders even from the Chief Minister of the state. The officers have been going to work with black armbands or badges to protest Kumar’s arrest.