CAT quashes order indicting Sanjiv Chaturvedi for indiscipline
The orders were passed by AIIMS, and approved by J.P.Nadda
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has quashed orders passed by the AIIMS administration, which were approved by Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda in his capacity as AIIMS president, accusing the institute’s former Chief Vigilance Officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi of “insubordination, indiscipline and lack of work ethic”.
The tribunal held that the orders violated basic principles of natural justice while arriving at these conclusions about Mr. Chaturvedi and did not even offer him an opportunity to be heard.
The order by the tribunal’s Principal Bench member P.K. Basu struck down a January 7, 2016, memorandum issued to Mr. Chaturvedi recording the “displeasure” of the AIIMS Director at his alleged conduct and “lack of work ethic during winter session of Parliament 2015”.
Another order quashed
The tribunal also quashed a subsequent order of the institute administration on March 30, upholding the displeasure felt by the AIIMS Director at Mr. Chaturvedi’s alleged conduct.
The March 30 order had said the decision to reject Mr. Chaturvedi’s plea to withdraw the ‘displeasure memorandum’ was taken after consultations with the Union Health Ministry.
The March 30 order also recorded that the reiteration of the AIIMS’ stand against Mr. Chaturvedi was approved by Mr. Nadda in his capacity as AIIMS President.
“Admittedly, the orders dated January 7, 2016 and March 30, 2016 passed by the respondents (Centre, Secretary of Health Ministry, AIIMS director and Mr. Nadda and others) to the applicant with copies to other concerned ministries including Chief Secretary, Uttarakhand, is without issuing a show cause notice to him. This being against the principles of natural justice, both the orders are quashed,” CAT observed in its order on August 17.
On another application filed by Mr Chaturvedi, CAT said its order dated June 1, 2016, would remain in force as per which “any entry made in his ACR for the year 2015-16 shall be subject to the outcome of the application pending before the Tribunal.”
The January 7 displeasure memorandum titled “non-observance of discipline by Sh Sanjiv Chaturvedi…” stated, “The Director, AIIMS, places on record its displeasure with his insubordination, indiscipline and lack of work ethic…”
A copy of the memorandum was directed to be kept in Mr. Chaturvedi’s personal file for consideration for his Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR) for 2015-16.
Mr Chaturvedi then made a representation to Director, AIIMS against the memorandum on January 11 but the same was rejected after consultation with the Ministry of Health by an order issued with approval of Mr Nadda on March 30.
The March 30 order said Mr. Chaturvedi had “threatened the administration that the memorandum may be withdrawn failing which he would resort to appropriate legal proceedings…”
“The President AIIMS (Mr. Nadda) has upheld and reiterated the displeasure memorandum of Director, AIIMS…,” the March 30 order said.
The March 30 order carried Mr. Nadda’s directions that this order be sent to Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and Cadre Controlling Authority. A copy of the order was then sent to Chief Secretary, Uttarakhand.
Mr. Chaturvedi had then moved CAT saying the memorandum and order had been issued without giving him a hearing and without recording any specific orders defied by him to make him guilty of indiscipline or insubordination.
Sanjiv Chaturvedi had moved CAT saying the order had been issued without giving him a hearing