BDO from Pune claims he was framed for taking action

Oct 25, 2018, 18:00 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon

Satish Gadhve says he had lodged FIRs against gram sewaks for financial irregularities, they got together with local politicians to get him suspended for 'taking a bribe', based on a 'doctored audio tape'

BDO from Pune claims he was framed for taking action
(First on the left) Block Development Officer Satish Gadhve made the entire taluka of Junnar open defecation free by constructing 10,228 individual toilets

A block development officer (BDO) from Pune, who was instrumental in creating a model village by constructing more than 10,000 toilets and stopping open defecation in 2016, and was recognised for this by the PMO and the state government, was suspended recently. He was accused of allegedly demanding a bribe on the basis of an audio tape. Satish Gadhve, the BDO, has claimed the tape is doctored, and he was targeted by powerful gram sevaks from Junnar district, against whom he had filed an FIR for financial irregularities just few months ago. On Wednesday he filed a plea before the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT) requesting that his suspension order be quashed.

Facts of the case
In his plea (a copy is with this paper) Gadhve claimed that since July 13, 2016, he has been serving as a BDO at the Panchayat Samiti, Junnar; Under Secretary Rural Development, Fort and Deputy Secretary Village Development, Mantralaya. Gadhve claimed that he received lot of complaints regarding financial irregularities and corruption by some gram sevaks, in league with some political leaders including sarpanchs.

After an inquiry he suspended seven gram sevaks. He also lodged FIRs against some gram sevaks and sarpanchs. He claimed this did not go down well with local political leaders and disgruntled gram sevaks, who together hatched a plan to victimise and vilify him. Gadhve said, "I am the victim of a powerful lobby against whom I took serious action from registering an FIR to suspension. I had registered an FIR against seven gram sevaks for indulging in financial irregularities of above R75 lakh and causing a loss to the state exchequer."

"I had also suspended five zilla parishad school teachers for not reporting to school on time. In one case at Sakore Zilla Parishad School, a teacher who was drawing a monthly salary of R45,000, had appointed a 20-year-old man to teach in his place. He was paid R5,000 monthly and the teacher carried on his family business. All these people were well connected to local political leaders and worked together to get me suspended," he added.

Suspension planned
According to the petition, Gadhve claims that he was summoned for an enquiry on September 25 by the Dy CEO at Junnar, on the basis of a complaint against him by a union body of gram sevaks, about the action against them. The same evening, Gadhve was given a show cause notice seeking explanation on a tape recorded conversation, wherein he was heard allegedly demanding money from a gram sevak. Gadhve made a written submission stating the audio clip was doctored to defame him. The same day the bureaucrats directed the ACB to register a case of corruption against him. The next day the CEO, Zilla Parishad, Pune, sought to post Gadhve to an MNREGA Cell attached to the office of Village Panchayat Divison, Pune. Gadhve, a class one officer, Group A, was allegedly given a post of Group B, with the intention of harassing him and when he objected, he was suspended.

Lawyer speak
Advocate Rajeshwar Panchal, appearing for Gadhve, said, "We have sufficient evidence that the tape is doctored, along with other direct and circumstantial evidence to expose the lie. Instead of taking serious cognisance of action against corrupt gram sevaks and sarpanchs who indulged in financial irregularities, the bureaucrats are working hand-in-glove with the wrong doers and have suspended my client for no fault." The matter will come up for hearing in the next few days.

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