Activists allege ‘corrupt practice’ by Raj Bhavan

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, 1 Aug: Two activists – Serpi Flago and Tami Pangu – on Monday accused the Raj Bhavan of “indulging in corrupt practice by appointing various secretariat staff posts, including assistant protocol officer, flouting the state recruitment rules.”

In a representation to the chief minister’s office, Flago and Pangu claimed that the Raj Bhavan “brazenly flouted the state’s existing recruitment rules by appointing secretariat staff without proper advertisement and recruitment procedures.”

They claimed that, “on 31 August, 2021, a proposal for one protocol assistant, Group B (non-gazetted) post in pay matrix level 6 for governor office in Delhi was approved by the state cabinet.

“Subsequently, one Sant Pun, who was serving as a peon in the governor’s office in Delhi, was appointed as protocol assistant, violating the government notification and recruitment rules for Group B, which is supposed to be recruited through the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission,” they said.

The activists also claimed that, in a similar fashion, the governor’s secretariat “undermined and violated the Arunachal Pradesh Staff Selection Board Act, 2018, by appointing a videographer.”

“The appointment did not follow any recruitment procedures laid down for filling up of newly created post and proper advertisement was flouted, as well,” they alleged.

The duo further alleged that the governor’s secretariat “had submitted a memorandum for cabinet approval for relaxation of recruitment rules in respect of Group C posts in governor’s secretariat by its department on 24 May, 2022.

“The proposal was cleared by the state cabinet on 30 May,” they said, adding that, “after getting green signal from the state cabinet on relaxation of recruitment rules in respect of Group C in governor’ secretariat, the Raj Bhavan went on to appoint a peon on 3 June, 2022, based on the recommendation of the departmental selection-cum-search committee constituted on 22 March, 2022,” they added.

The activists alleged that the Raj Bhavan and its public information officer lied to them that “there is no peon post created and hence no appointment had been made” in response to their RTI application.

They accused the governor’s secretariat of misleading them “by trying to hush up peon post appointment.”

The duo went on to claim that, “with the approval of the state cabinet, private secretary to governor Shyam Bahadur Rana was elevated to principal private secretary. Later, he was again promoted as officer on special duty to the governor in pay matrix level 12. The elevation and upgrading of private secretary to PPS and OSD to governor was only meant to give financial benefit to Rana.”

The activists called for “immediate termination of irregular and illegal appointment made under governor’s secretariat.”

They also sought formation of an inquiry committee, led by a judge of the high court, to inquire into the “illegal appointment and misuse of power.”

Accusing Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) Vice Chancellor Prof Saket Kushwaha of being involved in the recruitment process, the activists called for “action against RGU vice chancellor.”

The Arunachal Times sought a response via WhatsApp from the governor’s secretary regarding the allegation, but the secretary did not respond to the query.

On the other hand, RGU refused to provide the details to one of the activists, stating that the queries were “purely personal and invasive in nature having no public interest involved in it. As such, the same is exempted u/s 8 (1) (J) of the RTI Act and cannot be disclosed.”