Kochi: The CPM and the RSS are at loggerheads over the curbs imposed by the state government on Onam celebrations. But even in 1997, the E.K. Nayanar government had imposed restrictions on the conduct of cultural events during office hours.
The government, however, asked the officials to get prior permission from the head of the department and made the department accountable for the event. This was in the wake of an untoward incident during the Onam celebration at the secretariat.
The order was passed on October 18, 1997 by the then principal secretary R.B. Pathak.
“The inquiry established that cultural activities organised during office hours would adversely affect the functioning of government offices,” the order said.
Following the inquiry, the then government instructed the officials to get prior permission from the head of the department for the event. In the case of government secretariat, the request for such a function was to be processed and examined by the office of the principal secretary (General Administrative Department.)
The order made it clear that the officer granting permission will be personally responsible for ensuring that the function was held outside office hours without disturbing the office. Any violation of the instruction would be viewed seriously, the order said....