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news details
DFO Nowshera questions DC Rajouri's jurisdiction
Rubbishes DC's explanation, says no mandate to order him
6/17/2019 11:21:41 PM
Early Times Report

Jammu, June 17: A tussle has erupted between Deputy Commissioner Rajouri and Divisional Forest Officer Nowshera, over their administrative jurisdiction in which the later has rubbished the former's explanation and disciplinary action, asserting that he is subservient to his department's seniors rather than a district official.
The Deputy Commissioner Rajouri Mohammad Aijaz vide order number DCR/PA/2018-19/206-210 initiated a disciplinary action against DFO Nowshera Suresh Manda. The DFO was directed by DC to attend a meeting called by him in his office and it was claimed that DFO initially conveyed though telephonic conversation that he was coming but later didn't turned up. He was again contacted and DFO reportedly expressed his inability to attend the office due to his presence in the Forest Field Range. The disciplinary action letter reads, "As reported by independent sources, the DFO was present in his office during the period under his consideration".
By conveying a series of differential and contradictory statements the officer not only misled the office but also misbehaved in a manner unbecoming of public servant, it reads. The salary of DFO was withheld by DC and the disciplinary action was also supposed to be treated as show-cause notice. The district treasury officer, Rajouri and Treasury Offiicer, Nowshera were directed to submit compliance order in writing on the next working day and the DFO was directed by DC not to leave the station without permission.
In response to DC's letter, the DFO sent a clarification letter to DC, in which he claimed that he received a call from a mobile number and the caller claimed that he was calling from DC Office and asked him to attend the meeting without informing about subject matter.
The DFO claimed that he sent a message to DC at 15.52, to know the subject matter of public importance but got no reply of the message. The DFO further claimed that the time was very crucial for Forest Officer to present at the field to motivate the field staff and control the spread of fire. "On the day of meeting, Range Officer reported that a Forest fire broke out in compartment 118/N of Nowshera Forest division and he was directed by Conservator of forest to remain there to coordinate the operation. Moreover the caller from the office of DC didn't have the basic courtesy to address a district head and lack basic work ethics to convey the matter of urgent importance. "I was not supposed to leave the field unless some matter of extraordinary public importance was there", it reads.
Taking reference of a judgment of Supreme Court the DFO's letter maintained that Conservator of Forest is the reporting authority of DFO and the clear intention of Supreme court was reflected that the administrative control of forest officers, while working in the forest department must lie within the forest department as often forest official have to take decisions which are against the wishes of district administration. Taking reference of another judgments and decisions, it further stated that DFO is not subordinate officer of Deputy Commissioner and no statute/by-law/rule empowers DC to issue show-cause notice to DFO.
On order of stopping his salary, the DFO stated that stopping salary of an IFS level officer without any enquiry, by an authority who is not empowered to even initiate disciplinary proceedings, is void ab-initio and in violation of principle of natural justice. "Issuing such out of jurisdiction order and circulating on social media group of district administration Rajouri is highly unwarranted and can be construed as defaming the office of DFO and tarnishing the personal image of hardworking IFS officer. It is humbly requested to refrain from issuing such orders", it reads and asked DC to withdraw such order for smooth functioning of two departments.
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