IAS officer Kannan quits service for ‘freedom of expression’

New Delhi: A young IAS officer, lauded for his work during the 2018 Kerala floods, has put in his papers, more than a month after he was served a memorandum by the Union Home Ministry accusing him of indulging in acts of omission and commission, insubordination and dereliction of duty among other things.

Kannan Gopinathan, a 2012 IAS officer from Kerala posted in Dadra and Nagar Haveli as power and non-conventional energy secretary, put in his papers on August 21. He had been in the news last year for his role in the flood relief efforts.

The AGMUT cadre IAS officer, Gopinathan had tweeted on August 20: “I once thought being in civil services meant an opportunity to expand the rights and freedoms of fellow citizens!”

According to the report published in The News Minute, Gopinathan said that he joined IAS to give voice to others, but he found that in the service, it is difficult to use his own voice. He resigned from the service to get his ‘freedom of expression’ back, he added.

In his July 31 reply to the MHA memo, served on him on July 8, he refuted the charges of insubordination, dereliction of duty and dilatory tactics. “It is submitted that I have been performing my duties diligently and to the best of my abilities,” he wrote, adding he had been honest and committed to his duties, which was borne by the fact that the UT Administrator gave him 9.95 out of 10 points in the December 2018 appraisal.

He gave a detailed breakup of the work carried out under his various charges and how excise collections increased during the time, and there was improvement in functioning and delivery of the various departments he was in charge of.

Gopinathan said, he was “compelled” to give details of his work “to put the specific events of alleged failures/misconduct mentioned in the memorandum in the context of the dedicated efforts put in by me towards efficient and effective public administration.”

He also gave detailed replies to each of the accusations of omission and commission. One of the charges was “Gopinathan visited Kerala in the wake of big flood there to meet the officers and chalk out a plan as to how the UT Administration can help the flood victims. He failed to submit any report on his return from tour.”

“I would like to humbly reiterate that, as evident from the above facts and circumstances, I have put in all efforts to deliver as an officer for service of the people of Dadra & Nagar Haveli. However, I regret any shortcomings felt therein and assure that efforts shall be made to improve upon them. Hence, in light of the above facts, I request that the proposal to initiate disciplinary action may kindly be dropped and filed,” he wrote.

Former IAS officer Anil Swarup tweeted: “We are all proud of such officers. Kannan won accolades for his work. Why does he choose to resign from a service, the IAS, that offers so much scope to serve the people & derive enormous amount of satisfaction? He himself demonstrated what can be done.”

Background of Kannan Gopinath

Kannan Gopinath hails from Kerala State. He belongs to the 2012 batch.

He was posted as a Power and Non-conventional Energy Secretary in Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

As per the report published in News 18, he completed his electrical engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology