Despite Govt Rap, IAS Officer Firm on Legal Challenge
CHENNAI: Senior IAS officer C Umashankar, who has been directed by the State government not to engage himself in ‘preaching and propagating activities’, is firm on moving the Madras High Court challenging the directive by Chief Secretary K Gnanadesikan, through his communication dated January 24.
When asked about speculation that he had given up the idea of moving the court, Umashankar shot back: “No such decision. In fact, I am in the lawyer’s house. We are preparing the papers for moving the court..” However, he declined to give the exact date of filing the petition before the court.
The Chief Secretary, in his communication to Umashankar, had said his activities in Pudukadai in Kanyakumari district on January 16 had created disturbance to public order resulting in registration of two cases in the Pudukadai police station. He also warned that if Umashankar continued with his preaching and propagating activities, the government would have to take appropriate action under the existing Service Rules.
Following this, Umashankar had cancelled his preaching meets at Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Kanyakumari districts scheduled on January 24–26. The IAS officer had already gone on record saying that the direction of the government is illegal as the Constitution provides freedom to profess, practice and propagate religion.
On July 21, 2010, during the previous DMK regime, he was placed under suspension for reportedly producing fake community certificate while joining service many years ago. He had moved the National Commission for SC/ST with a prayer to allow him to work under the Centre or any of the agencies of the Centre not under the control of the government of Tamil Nadu. However, the government had revoked his suspension on September 2, 2010.