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DoT extends suspension of official Ashish Joshi for another six months

TT Correspondent | 10 Jun 2019

The telecom department is learnt to have extended suspension of Uttarakhand-based officer Ashish Joshi - who had written to Delhi Police to take action against a rebel AAP MLA for posting an 'incendiary' video online. "DoT has extended suspension of Ashish Joshi, former controller of communication accounts, for a period of 180 days beyond initial 180 days of suspension. No reason has been explained in the order copy," an official source told.

The extension order was issued on May 16 - 10 days after he had written to telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan seeking appointment.

The suspended official alleged that he is being targeted after he approached Sundararajan and former telecom minister Manoj Sinha on violation of transfer policy guidelines to favour some officers in his cadre and related Cabinet orders.

The Joshi's cadre is controlled by the Member (Finance) of Digital Communication Commission, formerly the Telecom Commission - apex decision making body at the Department of Telecom, the official source said.

E-mail sent to the department elicited no reply. Joshi did not respond to calls and sms in this regard.

Joshi was suspended on February 26 after he approached the police commissioner for action against rebel Aam Aadmi Party MLA Kapil Mishra for circulating a highly incendiary video, provoking people to attack "against traitors" on YouTube and Twitter in violation of the IT Act and Indian Penal Code.

Joshi on February 19 had also issued an order to telecom operators to crack down on offensive or obscene messages and set up a helpline to receive complaints against such customers.

The DoT has charged Joshi for misusing official letter head for filing a complaint against Mishra and also issuing orders to telecom operators on offensive messages with malafide intent without having any jurisdiction or making any advance preparation to address complaints that would come in response to the order.

"DoT has charged Joshi for misusing his personal twitter handle to threaten "general public" who were abusing him and his family after he was suspended," the source said.

Joshi was repatriated by the Delhi government to his parent cadre - telecom ministry, in May 2015, following a spar with political leadership. He had filed complaint with anti-corruption bureau in 2015 against then principal secretary of Delhi, Rajendra Kumar, based on which the Central Bureau of Investigation raided the Delhi secretariat in December 2015.

(Reported PTI)