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HC notice to TN on PIL against gifts for/from govt employees

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Press Trust of India Chennai
The Madras High Court on Tuesday issued notice returnable by two weeks to the Tamil Nadu government on a plea seeking a direction to curb receiving and giving of gifts by the government servants.
A retired block development officer of Vellore A Sampath filed the PIL (public interest litigation) seeking the direction to the government to comply with the Tamil Nadu government service and conduct rules -1973 that relate to avoidance of gifts and rewards.
The PIL came up for hearing before the Vacation Bench comprising Justice S Vaidyanathan and Justice PT Asha.
The petitioner said there was a practice by subordinate officers on the eve of New Year to wish their superiors by presenting bouquets, shawls and also expensive jewels, gold coins, among others.
He said he had made a representation to the government, including the Chief Secretary, and received a reply from the secretary, Personal Administration and Reforms Department, to specifically mention the particular department which acts against the rule.
The petitioner, referring to an order of Madurai bench of the Madras High Court, that issued a direction to the Director General of Police (DGP) to issue a circular to all the police officers across the state to avoid gifts.
In compliance with the order, the DGP issued a circular dated July 12, 2019.
Despite that, the practice continued, the petitioner alleged.
So, he said he made a fresh representation on October 3, 2019 requesting issuance of circulars to all the departments, and take appropriate action against those who indulge in such activities.
To the fresh representation, the petitioner got a reply that the rule has been strictly implemented and that there was no necessity to issue any separate GO in that regard.
The petitioner said the authorities are bound to enforce the rules and there lies a public duty on them.
For its strict implementation, he sought a direction from the court to the authorities, including the Chief Secretary, to enforce the rule 3 of Tamil Nadu government service conduct rules by issuing appropriate circular to all government departments to avoid taking or giving gifts.

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First Published: Dec 31 2019 | 8:30 PM IST

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