Centre may consider Kejriwal's request for services of 'whistle-blower' official

In a sign that the centre will grant Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's request seeking services of IFS official Sanjeev Chaturvedi, environment minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday directed his officials to "immediately put up the file" related to Kejriwal's letter.

Javdekar said the central government would take a positive view on Kejriwal's request. The minister also said the NDA government gives "equal importance" to the communication it receives from chief ministers of all states.

"I have asked officials to put up the file before me immediately. We give equal importance to the letters, communication we receive from all chief ministers," Javadekar said in response to Kejriwal's letter.

On the second working day of the Aam Admi Party on Tuesday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has created what the media reads as a brewing confrontation with the centre by asking for the transfer to his government of side-lined Indian Forest Service officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi.

Kejriwal has written to union environment minister Prakash Javadekar asking for Chaturvedi, reputedly a whistle-blower, to be transferred to his office.

Chaturvedi joined the civil service as an Indian Forest Service officer, which is why Javadekar's clearance is necessary. Kejriwal wants to make Chaturvedi the chief of the Delhi government's anti-corruption bureau.

In August 2014, Chaturvedi was controversially removed as the main officer appointed to combat corruption at All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the premier state-run hospital in the capital.

Chaturvedi's dismissal as Chief Vigilance Officer came after he exposed several alleged scams at the hospital and ordered investigations into how officials had made lengthy trips abroad on taxpayers' money. He was then appointed deputy director at AIIMS.

The union government had dismissed allegations that Chaturvedi was removed as vendetta for his exposes. Instead, the then health minister Harsh Vardhan had said that Chaturvedi had wrongly been appointed the anti-graft watchdog at AIIMS without required clearances.

Even at that time, Kejriwal's AAP had rallied in support of Chaturvedi.

"Sanjiv Chaturvedi will be a great asset to the Delhi government. We welcome him with open arms," deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia had said last week.