Arrest warrant against bureaucrat, chief engineer in Odisha. Here’s why

Bhubaneswar: The State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) issued an arrest warrant against a bureaucrat and chief engineer for violating its order for deposition.

The bailable arrest warrant of Rs 5,000 each was issued against Water Resources Principal Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena and Minor Irrigation Chief Engineer Saroj Kumar Pattnaik.

The tribunal directed the Commissionerate police to depose these two officials on Feb 7.

As the appointment of Pattnaik has been made in violation of the tribunal, his salary shall not be drawn from January 2019 onwards till full compliance report is filled, the SAT said in an order.

The contemnors both Jena and Pattnaik were asked to appear before the tribunal on Jan 9, 2019 to receive a charge of contempt. However, they had skipped appearance following which the arrest warrant was issued against them to procure their attendance in the tribunal.

The directive came on a petition filed by an engineer working as the Executive Engineer in Minor Irrigation Cadre against the promotion of engineers in the cadre.

Earlier, the SAT had directed the Government to promote him to the senior post accordingly if the engineers of the Irrigation cadre would not have been deputed as the Superintending Engineer and Chief Engineer of Minor Irrigation cadre.

The Water Resources department was also asked to give him financial benefits, pension benefits and refix his last pay accordingly.

The tribunal in its order had asked the authorities not to depute the engineers of the Irrigation cadre to the promotional post of Superintending Engineer and Chief Engineer of Minor Irrigation.

Those who are deputed may be withdrawn and the case of engineers of MI cadre who had been promoted vide promotion order dated Oct 9, 2006, also be considered for promotion. Also the engineers of MI cadre who have been denied promotion on account of deputation of engineering personnel of irrigation cadre to the MI cadre be continued, the OAT order stated.

According to reports, Saroj Kumar Pattnaik was promoted to the post of Chief Engineer, Minor Irrigation, on deputation basis from Irrigation (major and medium cadre) on March 12, 2018, which is a gross violation to Odisha Administrative Tribunal’s direction and contemptuous.

The RTI shows that the matter was referred to the Law Department whether to prefer writ appeal against the order of the tribunal dated Feb 26, 2018. The Law Department has given clear finding not to prefer writ appeal before the higher forum and to implement the tribunal’s order.

However, the Water Resources Department instead of receiving the opinion of the Law Department has obtained opinion from one Dhubai Charan Das, a Consultant who is an officer on Special Duty attached to the WR Department whose opinion cannot override the opinion of Law Department and this shows that Jena and Pattnaik are bent upon to violate the order of Tribunal.

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