Former Indian Administrative Service officer Kannan Gopinathan on Friday refused to comply to the centre's order to "immediately join duty" amid the coronavirus pandemic saying he is ready to help people as a common citizen during the crisis but not as an IAS officer.
The government has asked the 33-year-old bureaucrat to join duty on the ground that his resignation has not been accepted yet. Mr Gopinathan termed this as an act of harassment by the government and refused to join duty.
The letter, sent to Mr Gopinathan by the government on the direction of the Administration of Daman, Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli, said a resignation becomes effective when it is accepted and a government servant is relieved of his duty.
"You were directed to continue to attend your assigned duties, but till date you have not reported for duties of this UT administration," the letter said.
"Further, coronavirus has been declared as a pandemic and NDMA, under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, has directed all Ministries /Departments of Government of India, state governments and state authority to take measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country," it said.
On Twitter, Mr Gopinathan shared a photo of the government order asking him to join duty followed by his official response.
"It has been almost 8 months now since my resignation. Only thing the Govt knows is harassment. Of people & of officers. I know that they want to harass me further. But still, I offer to volunteer for the govt in these difficult times. But not rejoining IAS," he tweeted on Thursday night.
My reply to the Govt.— Kannan Gopinathan (@naukarshah) April 9, 2020
It has been almost 8 months now since my resignation. Only thing the Govt knows is harassment. Of people & of officers. I know that they want to harass me further. But still, I offer to volunteer for the govt in these difficult times. But not rejoining IAS. pic.twitter.com/8yMT5s06gP
The bureaucrat had quit the elite service last year to protest what he claimed was the denial of fundamental rights to lakhs of people in Jammu and Kashmir. "It's not like my resignation will cause even a flutter, but one has one's own conscience to answer to," he had said then.
Mr Gopinathan, a secretary of key departments in Dadra and Nagar Haveli, was instrumental in transforming a loss-making government electricity distribution firm into a profit-making one.
An IAS officer for seven years, Mr Gopinathan resigned on August 21 last year.
A week after his resignation, the centre asked him to resume duties, a directive he ignored. This is the second time he has been asked to join duty.