By GAUTAM DATT PUBLISHED: 20:51 GMT, 2 November 2012 Mail Today
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Thursday took the unprecedented action of sacking an officer who claimed to be a whistleblower.
Senior administrative officer Prakash Singh, posted at the Defence Science Centre at Metcalfe House in North Delhi, was served with compulsory retirement order.
Singh was due to retire on December 31, 2023. But a DRDO team visited his house at Timarpur and pasted the retirement notice on the wall. Sources said Singh, who had taken leave from work on medical grounds, was not at home at that time. Singh plans to challenge the move in court.
He claimed the action against him was taken by officiating DRDO head H. Selvamurthy in the absence of scientific advisor to the defence minister, V.K. Saraswat, who is on leave.
Serving compulsory retirement notice is the harshest punishment that can be given to a government servant. DRDO sources said the action was taken strictly in adherence to the government rules.
The administrative officer is responsible for the functioning of a laboratory, but Singh had remained absent from work for two years in his previous assignments, they alleged.
He had made complaints against his seniors in the past which were found to be false, they added.
However, reliable sources said Singh was ‘punished’ for highlighting widespread corruption in DRDO.
The officer had filed a complaint with the CBI against three senior functionaries: Manas Kumar Mandal (director, institute of psychological research), Dr Anil Kumar Maini (director, Laster Science and Technology Centre) and Dr Arun Kumar (director, personnel, at the headquarters).
The CBI referred his complaint to the vigilance department of DRDO. One of these officers – Arun Kumar – was indicted in a recruitment scam by the Central Vigilance Commission that recommended penalty against him in August.
But the DRDO inquiry dismissed the charges of irregularities levelled against the three officials and recommended disciplinary action against Singh for making false complaints.