The Centre on Monday curtailed the tenure of Union minister Jitendra Singh's OSD after the railway ministry objected to his article casting aspersions on Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and questioning the wisdom of senior government officials. According to a Personnel Ministry order, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved premature repatriation of Sanjiv Kumar, a 2005-batch officer of the Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS).
The move comes a month after the railway ministry had written to the personnel ministry asking for Kumar's immediate repatriation for "breach of official decorum and misconduct". Kumar is the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Singh, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office.
"A case of breach of official decorum and misconduct of Sanjiv Kumar, IRPS, has been brought to the notice of Railway Board. Sanjiv Kumar has authored an article, published by www.railsamachar.com and www.nationalwheels.com," then Railway Board secretary Ranjanesh Sahai had said in his letter to the personnel ministry. The article, besides being in bad taste, questions the wisdom of senior functionaries of the level of secretary to the government of India and also casts aspersions on the Minister of Railways (Piyush Goyal), it had said.
"...it is proposed to take up the officer under the Railway Servants (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1968. You would appreciate that a misconduct of this nature and that too in the public domain would send a wrong message all around and encourage indiscipline in the service," the letter, dated December 28, 2018, had said. Sahai had asked secretary of personnel ministry C Chandramouli "to consider immediate repatriation of Sanjiv Kumar, IRPS, to this ministry for taking action as deemed appropriate".
It added that the issue had the approval of Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani, who has now taken over as the chief of Air India. Incidentally, Sahai was last month transferred as the railway board secretary.
Kumar has been vocal in raising concerns related to the alleged wrong functioning of some wings of the railway ministry.