Kiran Bedi backs suspended IAS officer

Kolkata, July 30 (IANS) After the suspension of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal who had taken on the sand mafia in the New Delhi suburb of Noida, former IPS officer Kiran Bedi said Tuesday that the move has exposed the truth that "politicians obstruct officers who work against corruption".

"The message that has gone across is that politicians obstruct officers who work against corruption. The message is clear and this has been exposed," Bedi told reporters during a promotion of the movie "Calapor" here.

"The whole service (IAS) and society are condemning it because she was fighting against corruption and her suspension is wrong," said Bedi.

The issue of Nagpal's suspension reached the Allahabad High Court Tuesday with a petitioner seeking direction to the central government to probe the matter and quash the action if found illegal.

Lucknow-based social activist Nutan Thakur filed a petition before the high court's bench and said the central government was the cadre controlling authority of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officials like Nagpal.

Bedi felt the senior IAS officer should have refused to sign the suspension order and it was an error on his part.

"Another message is if the senior IAS had not signed the suspension order, it would have been better. So the officer could have gone to the chief minister and said that the order is wrong and I won't sign it. I will resign. Politicians can't sign it," said Bedi.

"There was a mistake on the part of the senior officer because he should have taken up the cause before signing the order."

However, she was hopeful about the IAS association taking up the matter with the Uttar Pradesh government.

"At least the one good thing is the whole association has gone to the chief minister to question it. Let us see whether they understand the situation," said Bedi.

The Uttar Pradesh IAS association Monday urged the government to reverse Nagpal's suspension.

The suspended sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) was posted in Noida, adjoining the national capital.

Bedi stressed that IAS and IPS officers need not be insecure and dishonest adding that as long as they do their duties well nothing can come in the way.

"As long as public servants and officers are not corrupt, politicians will not be able to lay their hands on anything because the officers are the ones who clear the files. Until the officers clear the files, the order is not approved," explained Bedi.

"Why does the IAS need to be insecure? They might get transferred but why do they need to be dishonest? The IAS need not subject themselves to corruption. They should not act like cowards and be insecure. Politicians are insecure. If the IAS, IPS work well, then no one can harm them," added the former IPS officer.