Four senior bureaucrats have petitioned Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi regarding the suspension of their colleague Joint Secretary GK Dwivedi after the ministry realised that Islamist preacher Zakir Naik's NGO's licence was renewed on August 19, reported The Hindu. On September 1, the 1993 batch IAS officer from Andhra Pradesh cadre was suspended along with two Under Secretaries and a section officer.
Joint secretary Kumar Alok met Mehrishi along with colleagues Hitesh K Makwana, Dilip Kumar and Satpal Chouhan on Saturday. Defending Dwivedi, who he said is "an officer of highest level of integrity", Alok said the online system is responsible for the error beacuse it does not have the provision for "red-flagged" organisations. "There is no manual interface. While the red flagging is manual, the renewal (of licence) is electronic. Great injustice has been done to him but we believe in the system that it will be corrected," a senior home ministry official told the newspaper. The new system was adopted by the minister earlier this year.
Calling the action taken by the ministry "unfair", the officers said they intend to take up the issue with Home Minister Rajnath Singh, according to Economic Times. They said the government was being "too harsh on an honest IAS officer". The ministry has also ordered a departmental inquiry against Dwivedi. Naik's NGO Islamic Research Foundation is being investigated by the Centre for Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act violations.