Thursday, 30 June, 2022
HomeIndiaModi govt asks 'disillusioned' IAS officer to rejoin amid Covid-19 crisis, he...

Modi govt asks ‘disillusioned’ IAS officer to rejoin amid Covid-19 crisis, he calls it petty

Kannan Gopinathan resigned last August following events in J&K after the govt’s Article 370 move. He said he would help as a ‘free citizen’, but not as an IAS officer.

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New Delhi: About eight months after he resigned from the service, IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan has been asked to rejoin as an officer amid the Covid-19 outbreak — failure to do so could invite imprisonment for up to a year or fine.

Gopinathan, a 2012-batch IAS officer from the AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territories) cadre posted on Twitter Thursday a letter from the government that was sent to him, asking him to rejoin the service.

“Coronavirus has been declared as a pandemic under Section 2 of the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 and regulations made thereunder, and the NDMA under section 6(2)(i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 has directed all the Ministries/Department of Government of India, State Governments and State Authority to take measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the Country,” the letter stated.

“A resignation becomes effective when it is accepted and the Government Servant is relieved of his duties,” it added. However, in August (last year) when he resigned, the government had directed Gopinathan to attend to his assigned duties, which he has not done till date, it further said.

The mention of the NDMA is significant since a provision of the Disaster Management Act states that “any officer, on whom any duty has been imposed by or under this Act and who ceases or refuses to perform or withdraws himself from the duties of his office shall, unless he has obtained the express written permission of his official superior or has other lawful excuse for so doing, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine”.

Gopinathan, however, replied to the government, saying he will continue to “extend his services in health, wealth and mind, to the government in this fight against the Covid-19 pandemic”, but only as “a free and responsible citizen and not anymore as an IAS officer”.

While he is aware of the penalties that can be imposed under the Disaster Management Act, he said in a tweet, “I understand the implications of mentioning DM act in the letter. Let the Govt be as petty and vengeful as it wants to be. I am not going (to) rejoin IAS again.”

Asked why Gopinathan has been asked to rejoin, spokesperson of Department of Personnel and Training Vasudha Gupta told ThePrint: “I have no such information.”

Also read: Modi govt proposes inquiry against IAS officer 2 months after he quit over Article 370

Govt often sits on resignations

Gopinathan had left the IAS after he got “disillusioned” by the events that had taken place in Kashmir following the Modi government’s scrapping of Article 370 last August.

Since there is no upper limit on when the government has to accept a resignation of an officer, civil servants say the administration often sits on resignations endlessly.

While there is no fixed timeline within which the government is bound to accept resignations, civil servants say a central notification can be issued in a month’s time if the administration so wishes.

Guidelines on the procedure to be followed in case an officer wishes to resign say: “It is not in the interest of government to retain an unwilling member of service. The general rule, therefore, is that a resignation of a member from service should be accepted.”

Also read: If India is in crisis, it is because good guys like ex-IAS Kannan Gopinathan rather quit


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  1. Take action against him. He is putting his personal political interest ahead of the interest of the country in such crucial times. He is being petty and selfish. Let him face the music.

  2. It’s time that the money and time spent in educating such officials is recovered and penalties and or jail term if resignations are political in nature be applied.

  3. I feel sorry for Kannan. He was expecting a seat to contest the Election from the Left Front in Kerala, they did not oblige. Kid is now in a no mans land.

  4. It would be good if a similar letter could be sent to Shri Shah Faesal. As a medical doctor, his contribution would be invaluable.

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