October 28, 2016

India: Central govt officers’ meeting with RSS chief - MP High Court issues fresh notices


Central govt officers’ meeting with RSS chief: MP High Court issues fresh notices
Mohan Bhagwat RSS government officers political activities mayor elections Jabalpur MP High Court

Senior Correspondent


Bhopal: The MP High Court has taken a stern stand in context of a petition that objected to the government of India (GoI) officers posted in MP meeting the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat at Jabalpur in a run up to the local mayoral election last year (2015).

On Wednesday, a division bench of acting Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Anjuli Palo issued fresh notices to central government and new notices to its three departments including the railways, provident fund office and telecommunications, seeking reply in one month's time.

The divisional railway manager, the general manager of telecom and the local PF commissioner had met RSS chief Bhagwat at his local accommodation at the latter’s summon in context of the Jabalpur mayoral elections.

The president of Democratic Lawyers’ Forum OP Yadav had filed a petition seeking action against the officials.

Initially, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat was made a respondent in the case, but his name was deleted suo motu by the High Court.

The petitioner’s lawyer Ravindra Gupta told NewsBits.in that during a previous hearing about eight months ago, the central government had said that it had sought replies from the three departments concerned, but is yet to file the replies.

On Wednesday, the court took a stern view of this delay and issued separate notices to these departments. Also a fresh notice was issued to GoI seeking its reply on the issue of participation of government officials in political activities.

Gupta said that he put before the court that according to civil conduct rules of the GoI, central government officials cannot participate in political activities and there was a standing circular banning government employees becoming members of organizations like RSS and Jamat-e-Islami.

“We have sought through the petition that the central government should issue clear guidelines in this context,” Gupta said.

(Image courtesy: Samvada.org)