Disciplinary proceedings against IAS officer Preeti Sudan begin

She is facing charges of violating rules in conversion of extra ordinary leave into earned leave

The State government has initiated disciplinary proceedings against 1983 batch Andhra Pradesh cadre IAS officer Preeti Sudan who is facing charges of violating the provisions of All India Service (AIS) Rules, 1968 in conversion of her extra ordinary leave (EOL) period into earned leave (EL)/ half pay leave (HPL).

She allegedly influenced her sub-ordinates without the concurrence of the State government and the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) of the Centre.

Reply sought

Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das, in G.O. RT No. 337, has instructed Ms. Sudan to submit her version within two weeks. “Further action will be taken on the basis of available material, if reply is not furnished,” the G.O. said.

Ms. Sudan, while working as the Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Andhra Pradesh State Civil Supplies Corporation, was granted EOL from March 1, 2005 to February 28, 2006 for joining her family in the U.S.A.

In a letter dated June 25, 2005, she sought permission to utilise her stay in the U.S.A. to pursue a study with the Development Research Unit of the World Bank.

The DoPT conveyed ‘no objection’ for extending the EOL from March 1, 2006 to May 31, 2006 on the ground of ‘personal reasons’ in continuation of her assignment with the World Bank and also accorded ex-post facto sanction to the EOL from March 1, 2005 to February 28, 2006, excluding the period of assignment with the World Bank.

Ms. Sudan further requested the period of EOL be regularised as eligible earned leave/half pay leave as per the AIS rules. The pension contribution was calculated and she was remitted ₹37,164.

The DoPT has informed the State government that the officer was requested to remit the pension contribution for six months (from October 1, 2005 – March 31, 2006) while on EOL from March 1 , 2005 to May 31 , 2006 by treating her World Bank stint as a long-term assignment.

She was also requested to convert the EOL from March 1, 2005 to Mayt 31, 2006 as EL/HPL, excluding the period of her assignment with the World Bank.

In a letter dated February 25, 2020, Ms. Sudan , who is now Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, said that regularisation of leave period other than the period of foreign assignment was an administrative matter, and it should not be calculated as per her service book. Accordingly, the EOL was converted into EL/HPL which was due and admissible. The copy was enclosed to Chief Secretary, she said.

The office memorandum no. 19011/1/2017, dated February 12, 2020, used by the Under Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, is without competency and it was issued under the influence of MoS who was the Secretary to Government of India. It is the State government, with the concurrence of the Centre, can convert the leaves already sanctioned, said the Chief Secretary.

Provisions violated: CS

“Under the Sub-rule (2B) of Rule 3 of AIS (Conduct) Rules, 1968, every member of the service shall not misuse his position as civil servant and not take decisions to derive financial or material benefits to self, family or friends. Therefore, Ms. Sudan has violated the provisions in converting EOL into EL/HPL through office memorandum by influencing her sub-ordinates without competency and without the concurrence of the cadre controlling authority,” explained the Chief Secretary.

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