Skeletons in Cab Secy’s closet

Skeletons in Cab Secy’s closet
Javid Chowdhury, a 1965 batch IAS officer, in his book ‘The Insider’s View- Memoirs of a Public Servant’ recounts how the then Cabinet Secretary sought to deny him promotion from Additional Secretary to Secretary by telling a lie to the then Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral that he should not be promoted because he was ‘terminally ill’! As luck would have it, Gujral asked the Intelligence Bureau to verify this story. Call it coincidence, the IB official entrusted with finding the truth happened to share the same floor with Javid in North Block and used to have tea with him after work every Saturday. He found the truth out and relayed it to the PM and Javid served as Secretary for five years in three ministries and departments. What is shocking in this story is how could the head of the all-India Civil Service, whose constitutional duty is to advise the Cabinet, stoop so low? Javid’s folly was that he did not indulge in ‘bureaucratic cronyism’ and thus earned his wrath. A similar case involving the Cabinet Secretary of the day came to light in the MEA where an officer empanelled for Additional Secretary after being duly approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet and the PMO, found his name missing from the list. Upon enquiries, the PMO confirmed that the list with the PM’s signature did include the officer’s name. When asked, the Cabinet Secretary’s office revealed that the list sent to the MEA was vetted by the Cabinet Secretary, implying that the latter had overruled the decision of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet and PMO to remove this officer’s name! His office also confirmed that there was nothing unusual; such cases had happened in the past as well. After two months of correspondence, the officer got his promotion. Later, it transpired that the Cabinet Secretary had a personal grudge against the officer who during his deputation to the India Trade Promotion Organisation had problems with his wife who was a regular employee of ITPO. g…Read More

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gfiles is the country's first independent magazine written, designed and produced for India's civil services—the vast and formidable network of bureaucracies and public sector organisations that provides continuity and stability to this nation's governance.
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