Kiran Bedi orders sacking of animal welfare director

Deccan Chronicle.  | Kavya M

Nation, Current Affairs

Ms Bedi had directed secretary (law) G. Senthil Kumar to follow up the court case to vacate the stay order obtained by Padmanabhan.

Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi

Puducherry: Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi directed chief secretary Ashwani Kumar to relieve the director of animal husbandry and animal welfare department P. Padmanabhan from the post following complaints of sexual harassment at workplace against him from a subordinate woman employee.

Bedi initiated action after receiving the preliminary enquiry report from the district level complaint committee (DLCC) on the complaint against the official.

“In view of the sensitivity of the matter and to meet the ends of justice and in public interest, Dr P. Padmanabhan shall stand divested of current duties of the post of director henceforth. Orders be issued to entrust the charge of the post director to the next senior officer in the department,” said Ms Bedi in an official communication to the chief secretary which was later shared through WhatsApp.

She suggested that fresh complaints received by the District Level Complaints Committee (DLCC) from other women employees would be get enquired soon.
 Madras high court had granted an interim stay on its summons issued to Mr Padmanaban,  to probe the sexual harassment complaint lodged against him by an assistant veterinary surgeon.

Ms Bedi had directed secretary (law) G. Senthil Kumar to  follow up the court case to vacate the stay order obtained by Padmanabhan.

She also suggested that the complaint lodged by the complainant at the Reddiyarpalayam police station should be investigated by registering FIR, duly supervised by the senior superintendent of police (law and order) Apoorva Gupta.

The woman staffer had lodged a complaint with the complaints committee headed by chairperson Vidyaa Ramkumar on March 31 alleging sexual harassment at workplace by Padmanaban.

On the other hand Puducherry Human Resource and Consumer Protection Society (HRCPS) in a statement alleged that sexual harassment, corruption and irregularities are on the rise in government departments. General secretary of HRCPS G. Muruganandam in a statement demanded that senior officials of the administration be transferred once in three years.

DLCC had recorded statements of 27 witnesses including the staff of animal husbandry and animal welfare department against Mr Padmanabhan. If the government failed to take steps on this issue, the HRCPS will mobilise women strength and organise agitations in front of the animal husbandry department, Muruganandam said.

Meanwhile, 40 volunteers of the BJP women's wing were arrested when they picketed the animal husbandry department here on Thursday demanding action against Mr Padmanabhan.