IAS officer who quit over Kashmir crisis faces showcause notice from MHA

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IAS officer who quit over Kashmir crisis faces showcause notice from MHA

The 33-year-old Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, Kannan Gopinathan, who quit the service over the Kashmir crisis ever since the government abrogated Article 370 in the region, has been served a showcause notice by the Home Ministry.

Kannan Gopinathan, lauded for his work during the 2018 Kerala floods, quit the coveted government job on August 21, alleging there was a denial of "fundamental rights" to lakhs of people in Jammu and Kashmir for weeks which disturbed him enough to put in his resignation papers.

India Today TV has learnt that the IAS officer was issued a showcause for the act of omission and commission for misconduct in July by Rakesh Kumar Singh, an undersecretary of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

The two-page showcause memorandum cites as many as five reasons for proposed disciplinary action against the officer. The notice includes his visit to his home state Kerala in the wake of the massive flood. Here, the Centre has alleged that the officer failed to submit any report on his return.

Speaking to India Today TV, the officer maintained that his decision to quit was not on account of the MHA memorandum but his decision to standby fundamental rights of Kashmir.

Another reason for a show cause was in connection to the preparation of nominations for Prime Ministers Award under various categories for innovations in public administration, in which, the Centre has alleged, he failed to comply on the said directions.

The IAS officer was asked to answer to the advisor in the next ten days of the showcase notice.

Refuting the charges of insubordination, dereliction of duty and dilatory tactics, the IAS officer, in a detailed response, said that he had performed his duties diligently and to the best of his abilities.

"At the outset, I would like to respectfully but out rightly refute the charges made therein of insubordination, dereliction of duty, dilatory tactics etc. It is submitted that I have been performing my duties diligently and to the best of my abilities. That I have been honest and committed to my duties is borne by the fact that Hon'ble Administrator gave 9.95 out of 10.0 on 24 Dec 2018 for my APAR of 2017-2018. The same was accepted by respected Union Home Secretary as the accepting authority," Kannan Gopinathan wrote in the reply.

Giving point by point rebuttal to charges levelled against him, the officer substantiated his claims by stating that he had got Rs one crore MPLAD fund for Kerala floods. He claimed that he conducted free and fair elections in the UT.

There was a successful visit of PM Modi in 2019 and the home minister in April 2018, Kannan Gopinathan claimed.
When India Today TV spoke with Praful Khoda Patel, the administrator, about the status, he said, "I am not aware of the disciplinary action or Kannan's response." He, however, confirmed that the officer was reporting to him.

On Sunday, Kannan Gopinathan denied the disobedience and negligence of duty charges against him by the Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli UT administration. Kannan Gopinathan wrote to the administration and denied the charges of insubordination, adoption of dilatory tactics and dereliction of duty.

Kannan Gopinathan was a 2012 batch IAS officer from Kerala. He was posted in Dadra and Nagar Haveli as Power and Non-Conventional Energy Secretary.