The Andhra Pradesh government on Tuesday issued an order asking former Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan to explain why disciplinary proceedings under relevant rules should not be initiated against her, close to seven months after the 1983 batch IAS officer retired from service.
The order was issued by Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das.
The Andhra Pradesh government accused her of violating the provisions of the All India Service (Conduct) Rules, 1968.
It also accused the retired bureaucrat of misusing her position “in order to derive personal gain, contrary to the rules, regulations and established practices.”
The issue pertains to the conversion of extraordinary leave into earned leave/half-pay leave dating back to the years 2005 and 2006 as per AIS (Leave) Rules.
Preeti Sudan, who was the then Managing Director of AP State Civil Supplies Corporation, obtained a year-long extraordinary leave from March 1, 2005, to join her family in the United States.
She subsequently applied for government permission to utilise her time in the USA to take up a study with the Development Research Unit of World Bank, where her husband Randeep Sudan, also of the IAS 1983 batch, was working on foreign assignments.
Her leave was further extended till May 31, 2006.
The order was issued by Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das on Tuesday.
Preeti Sudan retired from service on July 31 last year, after a three-month extension.
The Under Secretary in the Union Department of Health and Family Welfare (vide an Office Memorandum No. A- 19011/1/2017-Estt.I, dated February 12, 2020) converted Preeti Sudan’s extraordinary leave into earned leave/half-pay leave.
Following that, she wrote a letter on February 25, 2020, stating there was no action due on the issues and “so the matter is closed at this end also.”
The AP government has now raised an objection saying the Under Secretary’s office memorandum was “without competency under the influence of the Member of Service who was the Secretary to Government of India, Department of Health and Family Welfare at that time.”
“The State Government of Andhra Pradesh, with the concurrence of the Government of India, Department of Personnel and Training, is the competent authority to convert the leave already sanctioned and the matter is under correspondence with them.”
“The Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has no locus standi to take action on the said letter,” the Chief Secretary observed, citing a letter addressed to his office by the DoPT.
“She is, therefore, requested to submit her version within two weeks, as to why disciplinary proceedings under relevant rules should not be initiated. If no reply is received, it will be construed that she has no explanation to offer and further action will be taken based on the material available,” the Chief Secretary added.