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By the Way

If you don’t bow…

Politicians are different breed. Once they are hurt, they seldom forget and forgive. They may not be able to take revenge at the particular time but once they are in power, they harass so lethally that one can’t imagine the intensity of onslaught and if one is serving as an IAS/IPS officer, one feels frustrated as he/she can’t do anything. There was an IAS officer of the 1983 batch from Assam cadre, who was once posted as Joint Secretary (Police 1 Division) in the Home Ministry. The department is the cadre-controlling authority in respect of the Indian Police Service (IPS) and also deals with the award of Presidents’ Police Medals for Meritorious/ Distinguished service and Gallantry, etc. There was an IPS officer of the Gujarat cadre who was investigating the allegations of harassment of a ‘pretended love affair’ of a very powerful politician of the state. The IPS officer, who was working under the central investigative agency, was cautioned not to cross the limit by the state officials. But he went ahead. When the then Gujarat government officials did not see any impact of their threats, the state reportedly fabricated many adverse reports against him each week for months together, which landed on the table of the JS (Police 1). The said IAS officer of the 1983 batch investigated each and every report and did not find any merit to take action against the said IPS officer. The powerful politician sent the then state commissioner (who is now a very important functionary at Raisina Hills) to meet and persuade the IAS officer to act, but he did not budge. Time passed and the said JS (P1) became additional secretary and, as per the rules of DoPT, was entitled for the post of Secretary in the Government of India. Months passed and his batchmates were appointed as Secretary whereas DoPT was silent on his promotion. One fine day the IAS officer visited South Block and enquired about his case. The all-powerful senior-most IAS officer just smiled and politely told him: “do you think you would be promoted as secretary after the way you treated investigations against an IPS officer of the Gujarat cadre irrespective of many requests by our senior bosses”. The soft-spoken IAS officer just smiled, thanked his senior and came back to his office and sought repatriation to his Assam cadre where he served till last year as Additional Chief Secretary of Assam Government. The IAS officer has no regrets as he acted as per law and saved the bright career of an IPS officer who was upright and honest.

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