A 54-year-old senior nuclear scientist working in the Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC), Hyderabad, is being harassed by the babus of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), who blatantly disregarded a Government of India office order, and transferred him after the scientist wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi informing him about malpractices in the NFC, Hyderabad.
The scientist has a 28-year-old differently-abled son, who, as per the medical board, has the mental capabilities of a two-year-old child. The said patient has been undergoing treatment at the National Institute for Mentally Handicapped, Hyderabad, and as per a June 2014 Government of India office memorandum, government employees, who have differently-abled dependents undergoing rehabilitation cannot be transferred. However, the scientist was asked to go to Tarapur after officials in the DAE came to know that he had written to the PMO. The decision to transfer him to Tarapur was taken despite the scientist informing his bosses that there were no specialised institutes in Tarapur where his son could be treated. The scientist, as the only male member of his family, needs to be near his son to take care of his daily routine.
According to sources close to him, the scientist decided to write to the PMO after he read in newspapers that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was asking bureaucrats to directly interact with him through his websites. “Encouraged by the PM’s message, he wrote a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office in September 2014, stating that due to the decision of his superiors, the NFC was losing money and highly classified documents were being accessed by private individuals who were appointed as consultants at the NFC. Most of these consultants were kith and kin of senior officials in the NFC. Once this came to the knowledge of the bosses, they started harassing him and stopped giving him work and subsequently, he was transferred to Tarapur in October 2015,” an official close to him said.
It was after this that the harassed scientist approached the Central Administrative Tribunal, then the High Court and finally the Supreme Court. “Both the CAT and the HC refused to stay the transfer order, but last week the SC, finding the charges that he was being harassed for whistle-blowing to be true, stayed his transfer,” the official said.
However, officials in the NFC said that the harassment of the scientist was still continuing and the scientist was yet to receive the joining order asking him to rejoin work at Hyderabad. “The babus at the DAE are now mulling challenging the SC decision,” said the official.
According to government officials, in most cases, the PMO, after receiving complaints from the whistle-blowing official, sends the complaint back to the same department head against which the complaint has been made, asking for clarifications.
Emails sent to Jitendra Singh, Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office and to the head of the NFC, Hyderabad, seeking their response, elicited no response till the time of going to press.