ABHINANDAN MISHRA Sunday Guardians NEW DELHI | 30th Sep 2012
The officer has been found guilty of appointing his senior’s daughter without following the due process.
The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has advised the initiation of major penalty proceedings against an additional director rank officer and his superior, a director, with the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO). The officer has been found guilty of appointing his senior’s daughter without following the due process. The proceedings have been advised after a complaint filed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) was probed by the CVC.
The CVC has recommended the penalty against A.K. Bansal, who was at that time additional director (Recruitment and Assessment Centre) (Scientist F) and Arun Kumar, director, (RAC) (outstanding scientist). Bansal illegally facilitated Kumar’s daughter’s appointment.
The Recruitment and Assessment Centre (RAC) of DRDO looks after the recruitment and promotion of scientists in the organisation.
The CVC in its memorandum dated 23.08.2012 has stated, “The case has been examined by the commission. On facts of the case, the commission in agreement with MoD, advises initiation of major penalty proceedings against Dr. Arun Kumar, Senior Scientist, DRDO, and Shri A.K. Bansal, Additional Director, RAC.”
The CVC has also asked the ministry to reconsider the appointment of Swati Shrivastava, daughter of Arun Kumar, who is working as Scientist C in DRDO. “Further, the commission advises the ministry to reconsider the appointment of Ms. Swati Srivastava, daughter of Dr. Arun Kumar.”
“This is a clear case of corruption and misuse of position to appoint close relatives,” an employee of DRDO stated on the condition of anonymity.
Arun Kumar is serving as Director (Personnel) in the DRDO headquarters at present. A.K. Bansal, who retired in 2009, was till last month working with the Institute of Defence Scientists and Technologists (IDST), a registered body of retired DRDO professionals, which claims to provide consultancy, expertise and assistance to DRDO.
The DRDO had earlier tried its best to stonewall an RTI (Right to Information) query filed by an employee of the organisation, seeking to inspect the records related to the employment of Dolly Bansal, daughter of A.K. Bansal. DRDO, while refusing to allow the inspection of records, had said that it was an exempted organisation under the RTI Act.
However, the Central Information Commission rejected the DRDO’s contention and said that since it was related to alleged irregularities in the selection of Dolly Bansal as a scientist and there was no harm in the inspection of the available records.
When contacted, DRDO spokesperson Ravi Kumar Gupta said that the organisation follows a transparent and fair policy of recruitment: “It may be a matter of difference of perception (the findings of CVC). Decisions by RAC related to recruitment are taken by a chairman who is independent of the scientific advisor. However, whatever action is required to be taken, will be taken.”