Whistle blower harassed despite Parrikar assurance

Whistle blower harassed despite Parrikar assurance

Singh was transferred even when there are 58 DRDO estabilishments in Delhi.

A whistle blowing official with the Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO) is facing harassment by his seniors, who have been transferring him frequently, despite a personal assurance from Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar that under the whistle blowers act, his service interests will be protected. Prakash Singh, a senior administrative officer with the administrative cadre of DRDO, had first made a written complaint of vigilant nature to the CVC in June 2008 and later in March 2009, informing the CVC about the deliberate illegalities being carried out in the LABs of DRDO and in DRDO HQ. As a result of the compliant, a charge-sheet was issued to one senior scientist. The complaint also led to the annulment of the services of a lady scientist who was the wife of an ex-director of DIPAS, Delhi (a Delhi based LAB of DRDO), just 12 days before her superannuation. Singh also submitted three more complaints in 2010 alleging illegalities committed by three senior director level officers of DRDO to the CBI. This action by Singh, however, did not go down well with the officials in DRDO and he was issued a charge sheet by DRDO on July 2011 for “creating trouble” and bringing DRDO a bad name. Singh was compulsorily retired from service on 31 October 2012 when he was just 49 years old. He was also not allowed to present his side during the charge sheet proceedings. Later, in August 2013, Singh was reinstated after the intervention of the then Defence Minister A.K. Antony with only a minor penalty. Singh thereafter sought protection from the CVC. In October 2015, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar quashed the charge-sheet and also ordered that the period for which Singh was compulsorily retired should be treated as duty period. He also directed the payment of allowances and his retrospective promotion. The order of the RM stated: “The competent authority has ordered quashing of the charges framed against Shri Prakash Singh. Accordingly, DRDO is requested to quash the charges framed against the officer. It has further been decided that those who trumped up false charges and committed a number of procedural irregularities with the single minded objective of harassing Shri Prakash Singh need to be identified and taken to task for their mala-fide action. Action in this regard may be taken immediately and (Vigilance) be informed the action taken in matter on the fortnightly basis”. However, despite the directions of the Defence Ministry, his harassment did not stop and on 7 January 2016 he was transferred. Following this, Singh met Parrikar on 29 February 2016 and after going through the representations of Singh, Parrikar ordered the DRDO to give him service protection under the whistle blower law. Parrikar also asked the DRDO to take action against the officials who had harassed Singh. “My father met the Defence Minister on 29 February 2016. However, as soon as this became public knowledge, the DRDO officials transferred him to Jodhpur. The officials said it was done under the instructions of the Defence Minister. We find it hard to believe this since the Defence Minister himself had assured my father that his transfer order will be cancelled. My father also requested them to show the office order signed by the Defence Minister approving his transfer, but they refused,” Shirpal, son of Prakash Singh, said.

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