NEW DELHI: Kannan Gopinathan, an AGMUT-cadre IAS officer who resigned on August 21, 2019 citing “denial of freedom of expression” to the people of Jammu & Kashmir in wake of abrogation of Article 370, now faces a disciplinary inquiry into multiple charges against him that include unauthorised absence from duty, insubordination, adoption of dilatory tactics and dereliction of duty.
The home ministry proposes to hold the inquiry under Rule 6 of All India Services (Disciplinary & Appeal) Rules, 1969, which lists penalties for errant officers ranging from mere censure and withholding of promotion/increment to dismissal from service.
While Gopinathan is presently posted as secretary in power department for the Union territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, he has not been attending office since August 26 even though he was advised so until his resignation was accepted.
This absence, as per the memorandum served on him by the home ministry (the controlling authority for UT cadre officers) on October 24 and later tweeted by him, was without any intimation or prior sanction of leave. The ministry has accordingly charged him of grave misconduct in violation of Rule 3 of All India Service (Conduct) Rules, 1968.
Another Article in the memorandum — which asked Gopinathan to respond to the charges within 15 days — charged him with unauthorised communication with print, electronic and social media, adding that such criticism of the government policies “is capable of embarrassing the relations of Central government with other organisations including foreign State”. He acted in a manner unbecoming of a government servant, violating Rule 6 and 7 of AIS conduct rules, it added.
Also charging him with adopting dilatory tactics and insubordination as collector, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, the ministry accused him of delay in processing policy matters relating to discontinuation of permanent residence certificate, delaying laying of underground cables, not submitting his tour report to higher authorities after return from official tour to flood-hit areas of Kerala and bypassing his controlling officer while submitting files. Accordingly, he was charged with failure to maintain absolute integrity, devotion to duty, in contravention of Rule 3 of conduct rules.
Gopinathan, reacting to the memorandum on his Twitter handle on Wednesday, accused the home ministry of targeting officers. “After 5 years of enlightened leadership one would expect you to be masters in intimidation and targeted harassment at least,” he commented.

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