Days after a Joint Secretary was suspended in the Home Ministry for the online renewal of Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) license of Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s NGO, his colleagues’ petitioned Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi on Saturday to convey that great injustice had been done to the officer.

The Joint Secretary, G.K. Dwivedi, a 1993 batch IAS officer from Andhra Pradesh cadre was suspended along with two Under Secretaries and a section officer on September 2 for alleged dereliction of duty.

One of the officers Kumar Alok who met the Home Secretary told The Hindu, “We rate him as an officer of highest level of integrity, he has implemented so many projects including the merger of PIO-OIC card that was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Madison Square in U.S in 2014.”

Another official said that the online system, through which Mr. Naik’s NGO — the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) license was renewed does not have any provisions for “red-flagged” NGOs.

“There is no manual interface. While the red flagging is manual, the renewal (of license) is electronic. Great injustice has been done to him but we believe in the system that it will be corrected,” said a senior home ministry official.

The Hindu has learnt that Mr. Dwivedi had written on several occasions to the National Informatics Centre, the government’s web services organisation to upgrade the software to reflect the NGOs, which had adverse reports against them or had been sent inspection notices.

“He is a victim of his own reforms. This online system to weed out corruption from FCRA wing was spearheaded by him. Had everything been renewal, this goof up would have never happened,” said another official.

Mr. Naik’s IRF was sent an inspection notice on August 8 and the automatic renewal of license was done on August 19. Another official said that one of the suspended Under Secretary — Deepak Kumar had also sought transfer from the FCRA wing on several occasions owing to the risks involved with the division.

The Home Ministry had switched to an online renewal system for FCRA registered NGOs earlier this year and the idea was to reduce the human interface after several complained of bribes sought by officials to renew their licenses.