Former assembly officer disowns blame for staffer’s suicide

August 3rd, 2008 - 11:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Aug 3 (IANS) R.P. Pandey, former principal secretary of the Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly, who resigned last week following the suicide of a review officer at the assembly, Sunday said his name had been dragged into the case at the behest of a powerful lobby of bureaucrats. Pandey resigned from his office last Wednesday, but his office sources said he was asked to resign following the death of Subedar Singh, who allegedly consumed poison in the annexe premises of the state assembly.

Subedar Singh committed suicide July 25 and the doctors who attended him confirmed that he had consumed Sulphas.

Later, a first information report (FIR) was lodged against Pandey by Singh’s wife and he has been booked for abetting in a Scheduled Caste (SC) employee’s suicide.

“I never scolded or harassed him and always stood by him in his hour of crisis. I also helped him in getting a medical assistance of Rs.200,000 and despite being 70 percent deaf I got him confirmed as upper division assistant two years ago,” Pandey said.

Meanwhile, a team of the SC/ST national commission, led by its chairman Buta Singh, returned to New Delhi after visiting Lucknow to investigate the case.

According to sources, the team sought five documents related to the case but returned with only two of them - a copy of the FIR and the post-mortem examination report.

The state government assured the team that the other three documents - copies of the dying declaration, annual confidential reports of the last five years of the employee and the certificate of the medical officer that Singh was fit to give the dying declaration - will be supplied later.

“We will wait for the documents and if needed the officials will be summoned to Delhi or we will make another trip to Lucknow,” Buta Singh told reporters Saturday evening before leaving for Delhi.

The state government informed the team that Subedar Singh’s family has been paid Rs.200,000 as compensation and a job has also been promised to one member of the family.

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