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CAT refuses to revoke suspension of Rajasthan IAS officer

From a Delhi correspondent | January 17, 2009 22:46 IST

The principal bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal has rejected an application by a senior IAS officer in Rajasthan, who had been under suspension since 2004, after the state's anti-corruption bureau registered a case of corruption against him.

Ravi Shankar Srivastava was indicted by the ACB while working as a member of the Board of Revenue and the Rajasthan government put him under suspension as per the All India Service (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969. He is also facing prosecution for a case of disproportionate assets.

The ACB registered two FIRs against him in connection with two orders he had passed, though he continues to insist that the decisions he took in these cases were judicial in nature and that they have not been set aside by the high court.

Srivastava secured the tribunal's orders time and again, for his reinstatement from March 2006 and revocation of his suspension on technical grounds, but his luck ran out on January 7 when the CAT bench decided to uphold his suspension.

The suspension is 'well justified', the two-member CAT of Chairman Justice V K Bali and member Dr Ramesh Chandra Panda held in a 25-page order written by the latter. The order says the tribunal made the considered conclusion, "taking totality of facts and circumstances."

The principal bench's decision reverses an order passed just a fortnight earlier on December 22 by the division bench of CAT, in which Dr Panda was also a member, in favour of Srivastava, directing the Rajasthan government to reconsider his claim for revocation of suspension within three months.

The January 7 order also rejects Srivastava's objection to the repeated extension of his suspension period, holding that "we do not find any procedural or legal infirmity in the Rajasthan government's order."

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