IRS official accuses senior IAS officer of harassment

FO

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) is examining a complaint by a woman Indian Revenue Service officer that she is being harassed by a senior IAS officer who holds the rank of additional secretary in the Delhi government. The IAS officer has denied the allegations.

In her letter to Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth last month, a Bangalore-based IRS officer has complained against IAS officer Shakti Sinha for what she says is his "abusive phone calls/obsessive behaviour/sending of obscene text messages". Since Sinha is not posted with the Central government, the Cabinet Secretariat forwarded the complaint to the DoPT, the cadre controlling authority for the IAS.

"My complaint is under active consideration of the authorities, that is all I can say. Let it run through its course," the complainant told The Sunday Express. Sinha said he knew the complainant but added that whatever she had written in her complaint is "wrong." "I deny all the charges she has made," Sinha said.

Sinha, who served as private secretary and joint secretary to then prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in 1998-99, is now principal secretary, power and general administration department in the Delhi government. The two met in Jaipur where the complainant and Sinha's wife, also an IRS officer, were posted.

"He threatens he will jump off a high-rise building, next he says he is applying for VRS and when the sympathy card does not work, he gets abusive and filthy," the complainant has written in her letter. The allegations of harassment and abuse of official position, if proved, can result in a major penalty and punishment.

Sources said the officer has attached to her complaint a page of allegedly obscene and abusive text messages she says she received from Sinha's two mobile numbers in the six months before she sent the letter."For past six months and more, I have been subjected to immense harassment by Shri Sinha by abusive phone calls/obsessive behavior/sending obscene text messages (sic)," she has written. "When I do not pick up calls or respond to messages, he calls up my friends and my family members at odd hours of 1 and 2 in the morning in a state of drunken stupor and abuses them terribly. This may be verified from his call records."

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