MUST READ- Anti-Corruption crusader civil servant, Sanjiv Chaturvedi’s gut-wrenching letter to PM Modi

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Shri. Narendra Damodardas Modi,
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India,
South Biock, New Delhi-110001

Respected Sir,

First of all, I have to make it clear that this letter is being written by me in my capacity as a citizen of this country and not in my official capacity as a civil servant. However, just as a background information I have to submit that I am an Officer belonging to 2002 Batch of Indian Forest Service (IFS), and presently posted as Deputy Secretary in AIIMS, New Delhi, on Central Deputation.

I belong to a respectable family of freedom fighters and my grandfather had actively participated in Quit India Movement, being imprisoned by Britishers and for his contribution, he was felicitated by the then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi, in 1972, on 25th Anniversary of Freedom of the Country. Inspired by family ideals of patriotism and public service, I had decided to join the Civil Services.

In recognition of my continuous struggle against some of the most powerful corrupt elements of the establishment, which also included successful action in various high profile corruption cases in AIIMS, I was conferred Ramon Magsaysay award, on 31.08.2015, the citation of which reads as below:

“In recognition of his exemplary integrity, courage and tenacity in uncompromisingly exposing and pain snakingly investigating corruption in public office, and his resolute crafting of program and system improvements to ensure that government honorably serves the people of India”

I had received a cash amount of $30,000 (Rs. 19, 85,187/- as per exchange rate prevailing at that time) along with the award and I had immediately decided to donate the entire amount into the accounts of AIIMS for treatment of poor patients. Accordingly on 21.09.2015, I sent a cheque, to be deposited into account of Director AIIMS, after depositing advance Income Tax on the same (Copy enclosed).

However, till this date AIIMS administration has not deposited the said amount and the matter is being perpetually kept pending on flimsy grounds. The malafide and unwillingness is absolutely evident from the fact that in no other case of any private donor, the matter was referred to Health Ministry and the contributions were immediately deposited into institute accounts, while in my case knowing fully well about my credentials and source of funds, the matter was deliberately referred to Health Ministry, just to negate the contribution.

In this regard requests and meeting with Health secretary has also not yielded any results, and the said transfer, which was a matter of few minutes in view of both the accounts being in the same branch, has been stretched to months. Even now there is no clear cut direction from Health Ministry for deposition of said amount. Being a responsible and dutiful citizen of this country, coming from a family of freedom fighters, this was an utterly humiliating and discriminatory treatment.

It appears that, this simple humanitarian issue has also fallen victim to the intolerance of the establishment towards honesty and honest civil servants.

Recently lots of debate is going on in public domain on the issue of religious/idelogical intolerance. I believe that this is a complete non-issue as religious tolerance has been in the DNA of 125 crore Indians and it is irrespective/independent of the fact, which particular political party comes into power or sits in opposition. The tragedy with public discourse in our country has been that it has mostly focussed on such non-issues and the actual issues regarding Health, Sanitation, Education, Drinking Water, Energy and Environment have seldom figured in these debates.

In fact, the real problem of intolerance is that of establishment towards honesty and honest civil servants across the country wherein they have been harassed, humiliated, through abuse of power, and in extreme cases, physically attacked and eliminated. In present times, being an honest, law abiding and independent minded civil servant has become the most difficult/dangerous proposition.

In the instant case, all the humiliation inflicted upon me, and discriminatory treatment meted out, by way of delay/denial to deposit the award money into institute account is a direct result of personal annoyance Mr JP Nadda, Union Health Minister and President, AIIMS, who had launched a persistent attack against me from May 2013 when I had initiated an enquiry into corruption cases of one of his protege officers on whose departmental chargesheet Health Ministry is sitting for past one year despite approvals of Dr Harshvardhan, the then Union Health Minister and and clear cut recommendations of CBI.

In his repeated communications, MR Nadda not only launched very personal attacks against me, concealing orders of Hon’ble High Court and Central Administrative Tribunal but also concealed various decisions of statutory bodies and even the commitment given to the very Parliamentary Committee of which he himself was a member and even openly demanded to halt all the enquiries/disciplinary proceedings initiated by me, and which was finally ‘achieved’, as data from July 2012 till this date, reveals.

As personal phone call of your goodself, in this matter on 23.08.2014, I had submitted to your goodself, irrefutable documentary evidences, demanding independent probe into the entire episode, but due to unknown reasons, such independent probe was never ordered and subsequently Mr JP Nadda became the Union Health Minister.
From then the situation aggravated like anything for me and now my survival rests completely on judicial interventions.

However, even these judicial interventions (apart from above mentioned interventions of your goodself) have not been able to bring back any of the assigned work to me (despite consistent OUTSTANDING record) for which this very post of Deputy Secretary was created and thus, being without any work, I am being paid from public exchequer only because it gives sadistic pleasure to those persons in the establishment who were hit hard by my anti-corruption actions. If this is the situation after intervention of Prime Minister of the country, then there is no hope left for honest civil servant of this country. This is an ironical situation where the system is so much afraid of the honesty of its own officer that it does not want him to work at all, fearing exposure and actions into their misdeeds, and also reflects the extent of spread of corruption in our body politic, because of patronage and soft treatment over the years.

The extent to which corruption is promoted, tolerated and protected, is very well reflected in the following report Parliamentary Committee, having representation from across the political spectrum, and adopted in August 2015.

“The Committee is perturbed to note that despite unraveling of corruption cases at AIIMS at regular intervals the Ministry has done away with the regular Chief Vigilance Officer’s post at AIIMS and the role of anti-graft officer of MIMS has been assigned to a Joint Secretary and CVO in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The Committee, therefore, strongly deprecates the non-serious approach of the Ministry towards tackling such a large number of cases of corruption at AIIMS….”

“….most of the projects have lagged behind their set targets and thus have not met time and cost deadlines. The Committee feels that this is a pathetic situation as such delay does not bode well for an institution of vital importance like AIIMS. The Committee is very much concerned with these delays and desires them to be addressed with utmost gravitas and promptitude”.

Ironically the post of Deputy Secretary was created specifically to monitor these infrastructure projects to ensure their timely completion but I was never allowed to perform this assigned duty because of massive corruption in these projects benefitting a powerful nexus of politicians-bureaucrats as evident from termination of Engineer in Charge, charge sheeting of senior most institute officials, registration of CBI cases etc, on my vigilance reports.

As expected, even these scathing remarks of parliamentary committee had no impact on Health Ministry. You may also be aware of the manner in which 20 signatures were recorded in period of 24 hours, in the same Health Ministry, in August, 2014 right from the level of section officers to Hon’ble Minister on issue of removal of CVO, and how the same Ministry is dealing with the instant case, of donation for Welfare of poor patients.

Sir, at this stage, I would like to remind you the following judgment of Hon’ble Central Administrative Tribunal in May 2015 while quashing the orders of Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC), in my cadre transfer case —

“… The instances of harassment cited appear to be on the extreme side and deserved to be taken serious not of… we simply take note of the averments and like to reproduce the lines of poet laureate, Rabindranath Tagore quoted in the matter of Indian Medical Association versus Union of India and others [(2011)7 SCC 179], which reads as under:
1. ‘Where mind is without fear and the head is held high, where knowledge is free, where the world has not broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls, where words come out from the depth of truth where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection, where the clear stream of region has not lost its way onto dreary desert sand of dead habit, where the mind is led forward by thee into ever widening thought and action into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake”
We do hope and trust that a situation may never arise, where honesty is punished and corruption rewarded. Such a system cannot be expected to last for a long time’.

I would also like to reproduce the prophetic words of AYN RAND, written almost 60 years ago which are absolutely accurate even today-
“When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing-when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors-when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you-when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice-you may know that your society is doomed”.
In view of circumstances mentioned above, I have decided to donate the entire award money to the accounts of Prime Minister National Relief Fund, as I am not interested in any further tussle with Health Ministry/AIIMS on this purely humanitarian issue, with already considerable time wasted in fruitless and never ending correspondences, so that the amount could be used for the welfare of the needy people without any further delay. (Kindly find enclosed herewith the cheque of the said award money).

I had donated this amount with utmost pure intentions but had never expected that personal hatred of powers that be, against me, would prevail even in this case. AIIMS is a public owned Institution meant to serve poor patients and ideally personal dislike of any particular individual must not have been allowed to come into the way of flow of funds into its account but unfortunately this is the reality. If our country is run with such narrow mindset at top echelons of system, we may not be able to achieve our developmental goals even in thousand years despite all verbal rhetoric/event management.
Sir, I hope that this humble contribution would be accepted and in future appropriate steps would be taken by the Central Government to bring an end to this culture of intolerance and untouchability, being practiced against honest and law abiding civil servants. In this regard, following words of Sardar Patel, delivered in constituent assembly, should always be remembered-
“The union will go-you will not have a united India, if you have not a good All-India Service which has the independence to speak out its mind, which has a sense of security that you will stand by your word and that after all there is the Parliament, of which we can be proud where the rights and privileges are secure… this constitution is meant to be worked by a ring of service which will keep the country intact….”
I would be highly obliged if personal appointment could be granted to me so that I may also convey my “Man Ki Baat” on the plight of honest civil servants. I have been trying for this for past one year but without any result.

With warm and personal regards

Sincerely yours,

Sanjiv Chaturvedi

18 COMMENTS

  1. I think he deviated from his subject in letter couple of times and made it sounded like a public statement instead of letter to PM. There was no need to talk about intolerance or his family history in this letter when his core request is to accept his donation to AIIMS. Just my 2 cents.

    • Well, He told his subject right at the beginning of the letter. However it is always the way to introduce you and your family when writing letters. Nothing wrong . He conveyed the problem. Kindly appreciate such honest civil servants. There are smaller percentage of people in our country who can be termed as Honest. Don’t loose them as well. Hopefully he is going to get a result at this time.

  2. PM mody may be or not be a corrupt person but it’s clear that JP nadda(U. MINISTER) is corrupt after all reports. What gonna happen in this country, no one is trustworthy,after intervention of PM!!!. Everywhere we look politics (BLOODY POLITICS).

      • I do not think so. He is ambitious, good at rhetoric, zero knowledge, not patriotic, like CONG help corp houses to loot nation and survive on their dole

    • Modi doesn’t need to to be corrupt. The corrupt organization which he helps amass huge wealth from the Gov coffers, help him with unaccounted money for elections and other activities. he heads a corrupt coterie of ministers, he aids corrupt corporations, . He is not corrupt but doesn’t agree to RTI for political parties . Because the parties deal with slush money.

    • Will a strong LokPal help common man raise such corruption by common man? How long will it take for lok pal to be in place? Any clue? Gujarat did not have a LokPal till he was CM , if my memory is right.

  3. As much one might debate all that is written in the letter. It will fall to deaf ears. Modi does not care about the actual problems that Sanjiv Chaturvedi has written. Yet Sanjiv himself ignores the biggest two problems of our country. Strange How no one looks at the Caste System and the Violence and Inequality of Women in India as two of the biggest problems – Which ensures that millions of people remain unequal for generations on and on. Women are burned, butchered and raped by men – a dirty aparthied makes sure people are divided and manipulated by a small elite .. This letter and thousands of such similar attempts fall down the pipeline as a vicious violent elitist state continues to rule Indians.

    • Indeed! Down with the English elite, who have never cared to start University education in regional languages, thus ensuring perpetual poverty of the country.

      Down with the English class.

  4. Its fool to be wise when ignorance is bliss ! its naive to be charitable to a bunch of crooks & theives, instead any good honest NGO would have lived up to your expectations. nevertheless hats off ! to you for fighting the scoundrels , wish AAP could stand besides you. MODI is busy touring the world , your plea will fall on deaf ears, niether him nor anyone in BJP would care, you are knocking the wrong door,instead keep fighting , may god bless you.

    • Asif I find strange saying ‘wish AAP could stand Besides you’ You mean with AAP political party, in that case I complaint to you such people need support from we the common man, to show those in power our strength that people like Nadda should go not this Sanjeeve Chaturvedi.

  5. PM Modi and dr MMS share some trait common. Personally both have no corruption charge. But they allow their ministers to loot the nation, look the other way on corruption charges.
    MMS hardly speaks. PM Modi hardly speaks the truth. Both are in the pockets of corporate houses, talk economics do nothing for poor.
    Because almost all traditional leaders have the mindset of our colonial rulers who practiced the rule that common man deserved only WAGES. Wealth to rulers and elites.

  6. TO ALL THOSE OFFICIALS WHOME SO EVER IT MAY BE , If u people can’t order a CBI probe into this case or cant take any action againt corruption and injustice to the RESPECTED SANJIV CHATURVEDI SIR then you must QUIT labelling yourself as “INCAPABLE” or “CURRUPT”

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