HYDERABAD: Over 100 bureaucrats of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and a large number of retired IAS officials resented the approach of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in investigation and alleged that the CBI was going overboard.
In a nutshell, the bureaucrats expressed their utter displeasure over the Joint Director of CBI V V Lakshminarayana.
The bureaucrats who met at the IAS residency for a second day in a row on Saturday sought to know why the Cabinet ministers were being ‘questioned’ at their respective residences, while the officials were being summoned for questioning.
The IAS officers resolved to consider exercising legal options available to them in protecting the dignity of their fraternity. They said that they were not resorting to trade unionism and the CBI was branding them as a bunch of corrupt people without ascertaining the facts. The CBI was unnecessarily arresting officials as it was ‘running out of time’. Instead, it could seek extension of time for investigation from the court.
Later talking to the media, senior bureaucrat S Bhale Rao said that the IAS officers did not commit any mistake and could not be found fault for professional misconduct. He said that the CBI was ignoring the Crime Manuals. Former Chief Secretary Kaki Madhava Rao said that the CBI’s actions were in contravention of the business rules under which the Cabinet and the bureaucracy functioned.
“If a minister fails in discharge of his/her duty, it amounts to the failure of the entire Cabinet. In case, a particular minister was found fault with, the Chief Minister could sack such minister. The bureaucrats alone could not be held responsible and the final responsibility and burden of decisions lay with the ministers concerned in case of individual departments,” Madhava Rao asserted.
They said that the CBI ignored the Section 14 of the business rules which clearly stated that the secretary of a particular department could not be held singularly responsible for any flaw in that department.
The thinktank of the State administration decried that they were being branded as corrupt and that they were guilty at the very investigation stage, even before any court pronounced any judgement. They alleged that the CBI was pursuing a vindictive approach towards the IAS officials.
The senior bureaucrats went a step ahead referring to Emaar Properties case and said that LV Subrahamanyam was not guilty of the charges levelled against him. The Government of the day and the board of the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation should own up the responsibility.
The IAS officers in unison condemned the observations of K Narayana, State secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI), about the ‘beauty’ of arrested bureaucrat Srilakshmi Yerra.
Madhava Rao said that the CBI and the media were not aware of the business rules, which guided the administration. The officials expressed dismay over the way they were being ‘ill-treated and humiliated’. The CBI could elicit more details and file supplementary charge-sheets if necessary, said Prashanth Mahapatro, president of the IAS officers Association in the State.
He said that the CBI would get clear idea if it studied the business rules. The association had already taken up the issue with the Government. He disclosed that the bureaucrats were not resorting either to dereliction or negligence of their responsibilities.