Barely two days after controversial IAS officer Rajeev Rautela was shifted from the post of Gorakhpur district magistrate and made divisional commissioner of Devipatan in Uttar Pradesh, the Centre decided to shift the babu to Uttarakhand. Mr Rautela, who had hit the headlines for allegedly barring mediapersons from accessing the counting centre while the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha bypoll was in progress, was promoted as divisional commissioner of Devipatan, which drew a lot of comments in social media and print media.
When the reorganisation of Uttar Pradesh had taken place, Mr Rautela’s cadre was determined as Uttarakhand — but he had challenged this and got it stayed by the high court. The stay was lifted in August 2016. However, the Centre did not issue a formal order regarding the final allocation of Mr Rautela’s cadre until now, two days after the bypoll result. The transfer has caught many officials by surprise. Mr Rautela is a Provincial Civil Service (PCS) officer of the 1982-batch and was promoted to the IAS in 2002. He was made the Gorakhpur DM soon after Yogi Adityanath took over as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in March last year.
Haryana flouts red beacon rules
Last May, the Centre had banned red beacons on cars of all ministers, politicians and babus as a step towards ending the pervasive VIP culture in Indian public life. Even vehicles of dignitaries like the President, Prime Minister and Chief Justice of India are not exempt. But it appears that Haryana cadre IPS officers and Haryana State Police Service (HPS) officers are blatantly defying the ban. This violation is the subject of a letter written by additional chief secretary (ACS-transport) R.R. Jowel to the state DGP B.S. Sandhu, sources say. Mr Sandhu has been directed to ensure that the officers comply with the instructions on using red beacons “in letter and spirit”.
Mr Jowel reportedly said that while it was specifically mentioned in the Centre’s instructions that the beacon should not be used when the vehicle was not on its designated duty, field police officers were using beacons while not on emergent duty. The letter however did not mention what action the Haryana government plans to take against those officers found flouting the rule on use of red beacons.