Rama Setu: Will the inquiry cover 10 Janpath’s role?

Probe into Setu issue finds ASI officials guilty

Press Trust of India

Thursday, December 13, 2007 (New Delhi)

An inquiry by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has found two of its officials prima facie guilty of not carrying out government instructions in the filing of the controversial affidavit on the Setu Samudram issue in the Supreme Court.

A report of the internal inquiry into the issue conducted by ASI Director General Anshu Vaish was recently submitted to the Secretary, Culture, a senior official of the Culture Ministry said.

He said a formal departmental inquiry will now be carried out, which will cover the entire case and not just the role of the two officials – Director (Administration) Chandrasekhar and Assistant Director (Monuments) V Bakshi – who were earlier suspended following a preliminary probe by the ASI DG.

A chargesheet will be issued to the two officials and they will be asked to submit their explanation in the matter, the official said.
The suspension of the two ASI officials, meanwhile, was revoked yesterday and they were asked to resume duties with immediate ffect.
”The ASI officials have been reinstated as it is a procedural requirement. You cannot keep someone suspended for more than three months,” the official said.

The two ASI officers were put under suspension on the orders of Culture Minister Ambika Soni on September 14, shortly after the controversy over the affidavit broke out.

The ASI DG was asked to submit a report on the matter, including an explanation on her own role in the fiasco.

Later, Vaish was asked to conduct an inquiry into the issue and submit her report to the Secretary, Culture.

Vaish submitted her report to the Secretary, Culture last week, based on which a decision was taken that a formal departmental inquiry will now be launched into the matter.

The ASI affidavit submitted in the court, which was later withdrawn, had triggered a major political storm by stating that there was no historical or scientific evidence to prove the existence of Lord Ram.

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