Staying away from duty? VAOs warned of disciplinary action

Most VAOs are residing outside village and discharge their functions, contends Satta Panchayat Iyakkam.

Chennai: Village Administrative Officers, entrusted with enormous responsibilities and powers for better administration of the district in general and villages in particular, will have to face the music, if they are staying away from their respective duty villages, as an NGO has taken up the matter to court.
In its petition, Satta Panchayat Iyakkam (SPI), an NGO, contended that as per the Tamil Nadu Ministerial Service Rules, VAOs have to reside in the village under their charge and should continue to reside in the said village as long as they hold the post of VAOs.

But, most VAOs were residing outside the village and discharge their functions.

The SPI sought a direction to the state government to take appropriate disciplinary action against erring VAOs and their superior officers for violating an order of the high court dated June 16, 2011.

After hearing the petitioner, a Division bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana in its order called upon the Principal Secretary and Commissioner of Revenue Administration to get a proper verification done and find out if the petitioner’s allegations were correct or not, and thereafter, pass a speaking order within three months.

If the petitioner’s grievance survives, naturally the petitioner was at liberty to approach the court. Needless to say that if the allegations were found to be correct, the consequential disciplinary action should follow, the bench said and disposed of the petition.

After taking judicial notice of the fact that VAOs or doctors posted in primary health centres were not discharging their duties by residing in the village, the high court had on June 16, 2011 directed that if VAOs were not strictly discharging their duties and if any complaints were received, then disciplinary action may also be taken simultaneously against the superior officers.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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