Fifteen Ministry of Home Affairs joint secretaries, in a show of solidarity, met Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday and requested him to review the suspension order against IAS officer G K Dwivedi in the Zakir Naik NGO case, PTI reported. The senior bureaucrat was penalised for allegedly renewing the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act licence of the controversial Islamic preacher.

The bureaucrats said their colleague’s suspension was unwarranted as the lapse, in renewing the license of Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation, had been committed by his juniors. The joint secretaries reportedly praised Dwivedi as an “honest officer” and said his suspension could be seen as demoralising for others.

Officials told the news agency that Singh assured the bureaucrats he was studying the matter. Dwivedi sought Singh's intervention in a separate meeting. Joint secretary Kumar Alok met Home Secretary Rajiv 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 because it does not have the provision for "red-flagged" organisations.