Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa may be unaware that his ‘favourite’ Chief Commissioner has flouted rules by making internal appointments beyond his authority. But should the UDD be sleeping over this blatant violation of the Cadre and Recruitment rules?
Has the state’s Urban Development department (UDD), which is supposed to oversee administrative functions of BBMP in Bengaluru, become a toothless watchdog?
TheBengaluruLive is raising this very pertinent issue, if for no other reason than that the department comes under none other than Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa himself.
As things stand, the UDD has two wings – one under ACS-UDD Rakesh Singh takes care of Bengaluru while the other has overall responsibility for the entire state.
Coming to the point, it has been two days since BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta issued an internal order elevating Executive Engineer SV Rajesh to the post of Chief Engineer (West). Rajesh is already holding additional charge as Superintendent Engineer (Road Infrastructure).
Read Here: Seniority sidelined as BBMP Executive Engineer is elevated as Chief Engineer (West) https://thebengalurulive.com/seniority-sidelined-as-bbmp-executive-engineer-is-elevated-as-chief-engineer-west/
Not just this, the previous appointments made of Sidde Gowda to the post of Engineer-in-Chief (he retires by this month end), S Prabhakar (CE, East), AB Doddaiah‘s previous appointment as CE, West (two days ago, Gaurav Gupta removed him from the post and made him CE, TVCC), N Vijay Kumar‘s appointment as CE, Dasarahalli and P Rajeev‘s appointment as CE, South — all stand illegal as none of the appointments were made by the UDD.
As per section 4 of the Cadre and Recruitment rules, all appointments to Group A officers’ posts are to be made by the UDD, while the BBMP Commissioner has powers to appoint officers to Group B and lower posts.
But the present Chief Commissioner, who is the custodian of the BBMP Act (the civic body was earlier governed by the KMC Act but the new BBMP Act has been adopted by the state government, ostensibly with a view to postponing civic elections), has flouted all the norms with the elevation to Chief Engineer of SV Rajesh, Sidde Gowda, S Prabhakar, AB Doddaiah and Rajeev.
Further, the civic chief has also forgotten that the Karnataka Civil Services Rules do not allow any officer to hold two additional posts, but only to one vacant post higher than his current posting by giving additional allowances.
Apparently under political pressure, Gupta has given two additional posts to Rajesh, which is a flagrant violation of the rules, and which he should not have resorted to as custodian of the BBMP Act.
Rajesh superseded 10 seniors
Under Rule 32 of the KCSR, any employee in the immediate lower post/cadre can be placed in charge or independent charge of a higher post. Similarly, in accordance with Rule 68 of the KCSR, a government servant can be appointed as in-charge of the current duties of an office in addition to his own duties — he need not be the seniormost. Generally, such arrangements are made for a short period.
However, in Rajesh’s case, his appointment comes after superseding 10 others who are senior than him.
Will Rakesh Singh act ?
It is worth recollecting that ACS-UDD Rakesh Singh, who is now also BBMP Administrator, had shot down an internal appointment made by earlier Commissioner BH Anil Kumar, who had given additional responsibilities to current Chief Engineer BS Prahallad (posted with additional responsibility of Storm Water Drains alongwith Road Infrastructure). A ‘stinker’ from Rakesh Singh’s office had reminded the then Commissioner about not crossing the limits when it came to appointing Group A officers.
However, the UDD later ratified the former Commissioner’s order as Prahallad was Chief Engineer. But in the case of Rajesh, no such ratification by the UDD can be done as Rajesh is of the lower Executive Engineer cadre. In the case of Rajesh, it seems Rakesh Singh has forgotten that the same set of rules applies even to the current Chief Commissioner.
TheBengaluruLive has brought all these facts to Rakesh Singh’s notice and is waiting for him to respond. It is possible that Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, being the in-charge Minister for Bengaluru, might not be aware of the facts as the file of the above-mentioned Chief Engineer appointments did not reach his table. But the other IAS officers working in the CM’s Office have an ethical obligation to safeguard the BBMP Act and ensure that system is above any individual officer, and that officers have to work in accordance with the law.