The Collector of newly created district Balotara IAS Rajendra Vijay and his reportee additional district magistrate RAS Ashwin K Panwar are at loggerheads over transfer and relieving of Panwar when the model code of conduct is enforced.
The issue cropped up when Rajendra Vijay issued an order relieving Panwar and transferring him to Barmer headquarter. Issuing relieving order of RAS level officer during the model code of conduct became bone of contention between the two officers.
According to reports, Barmer Collector Arun Kumar Purohit had issued an order on October 12, 2023 assigning ADM Panwar to coordinate electoral training programme with CEO zila parishad stationed at Barmer Headquarter.
To comply the order, Balotara collector Rajendra Vijay, in an order dated October 18, 2023 relieved Panwar and directed him to report to Barmer headquarter.
Balotara Collector Rajendra Vijay is a 2010 batch promotee IAS while Barmer Collector Arun Purohit is a 2013 batch IAS, promoted from state civil services.
“Rajasthan has 50 districts with addition of 17 newly created. But election commission in its poll plans, still considers 33 districts. So for elections, even Balotara which is a new district carved out of Barmer, controlling and monitoring is being done from Barmer only. So Balotara collector asked ADM to work from Barmer,” the official said .
The bone of contention between the two officers is the relieving order of ADM. The Balotara collector had issued relieving order attaching services of ADM to Barmer district, which is an inter district transfer during the code of conduct period. The ADM Panwar has challenged the order saying that a collector can't relieve of transfer an RAS level officer to other district without permission of election commission.
In a letter to the Collector, the ADM wrote,
“I will discharge electoral duty assigned to me while being posted in my existing position. ‘I have not been relieved from the post of ADM nor should I be considered relieved from the post of ADM'.
For deputing any RAS on election duty after relieving from the existing post, yen order has to be issued for the department of personnel,” Panwar wrote.
What rule says
As per the service rule, if any RAS officer engaged in election work is assigned any other work, he can discharge the additional duty while remaining on his present post. The officer can't be relieved and transferred to other district.