‘Services Secy falls in line after being served show cause notice’

New Delhi: The Delhi government on Monday said services department secretary Ashish More, who was removed from his post and “absconding” since then, “fell in line” after being served a show cause notice.

More was issued a memo by Services Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj on May 13, seeking him to show cause and threatening disciplinary action against him for allegedly not complying with a direction for his transfer and “going incommunicado”.

More had earlier “refused” to comply with directions from the services minister for the posting of a new services secretary in his place. He had gone “absconding” from Delhi Secretariat and his wife said she had no idea about his whereabouts, said a Delhi government statement.

“His sudden change of stance comes after he was served with a show cause notice by the services minister demanding an explanation for his unauthorised absence,” it said. More could not be contacted for comments.

The government said that More finally “emerged from hiding” and acknowledged the receipt of the show cause notice on Monday afternoon.

“He also expressed his willingness to comply with the Supreme Court’s order and accordingly move the file for the posting of a new services secretary,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, who chairs the CSB, has convened a meeting of the body on May 16 for considering the directions of the Services minister for the transfer of officers, including More, official sources said.

More was removed by the Delhi government from his post last Thursday in an order issued hours after the Supreme Court gave the AAP dispensation control over the transfer and posting of officers in the state.

In the memo to More, Bhardwaj sought his response within 24 hours over charges that he refused to comply with the transfer order. The services minister also cited that various attempts to communicate with the officer through phone calls as well as WhatsApp messages did not bore any result and that he was “absconding” as he has not informed about being on leave.

“More has caused Special Secretary (Services) to issue a note on May 11, in which the directions issued by the minister were refused to be complied,” said the memo from Bhardwaj.

More was called by the minister, informed about the apex court’s judgment and was directed to put up a file for his transfer and posting another suitable officer in his place. It was assured by More that the relevant file will be put up to the minister before 3 pm, it claimed.

“Instead of putting up the file, More left the Secretariat without informing the minister or his office. The minister and his office kept trying to reach More on his office phone and his mobile phone number, but he did not respond to the calls,” claimed the memo.

It further claimed the officer switched off his mobile phone and “chose to ignore” several attempts to contact him.

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