Himachal Pradesh: IAS Officer Alleges Govt Superseded Her for Chief Secretary Post

Nisha Singh, the state's senior-most officer, in a letter to the governor dated September 8, asked how R.D. Dhiman, who was junior to her, was appointed as chief secretary, without 'assigning any reason'.

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New Delhi: Alleging that the Himachal Pradesh government superseded her for the post of chief secretary, Nisha Singh, the state’s senior-most officer, has opened up a front against the Jai Ram Thakur government.

Singh, in a letter to the governor dated September 8, asked how R.D. Dhiman, who was junior to her, was appointed as chief secretary, the Indian Express reported. She has said that Dhiman’s appointment as chief secretary was done without “assigning any reason” even as she was “superseded”.

She’s currently posted as principal advisor (Training and FA) to Himachal Pradesh government.

On July 14, chief minister Thakur had appointed Dhiman as chief secretary, removing Ram Subagh Singh, who had been holding the post since August 2021. Dhiman is a 1988-batch IAS officer.

His appointment superseded three IAS officers, including Singh, who is Subagh’s wife, Ali Raza Rizvi and Sanjay Gupta, the report added.

On July 19, she had written to the chief minister seeking clarity on her role and functions after joining the new duty. However, the government responded to her letter on September 5.

Therefore, in the letter to the governor, she said that the two-month delay in response was a “mockery of the representation”.

As per the IE report, she further said that the “advisors to the chief minister have totally misled him and shown extremely vile attitude, smallness and lack of administrative strength”. She argued that the government did not define capacity building, no administrative authority was mentioned and that no institutional support was given to help discharge her duties.

“Such small mindedness and vileness in the heart of the administration from chief secretary downwards is inappropriate for the positive governance,” the daily cited her as saying in the letter.

“Moreover, I want to object…the experience and understanding of a junior officer who has been appointed as Chief Secretary is far less than that of the undersigned. Can he advise to the CM on (her) official work? On my representation, he cannot be involved as he is junior. My supersession had been unwarranted and in total ignorance of the work I have done with sincerity,” the letter further read.

“The present administrative dispensation has not been geared up positively towards lady officers and women in general. As president of IAS Association, I have had many lady officers, both IAS and HPAS, come to me for redressal of injustice to them. I tried my best to resolve them. If there is no empathetic attitude towards lady officers where would other women go?” the letter said.

However, a senior official told the newspaper that the decision to appoint the chief secretary has been taken by the chief minister in his capacity. “The order itself mentions that it has been issued after approval of chief minister,” the official told the daily.