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Posted at: Aug 14, 2015, 1:11 AM; last updated: Aug 13, 2015, 11:10 PM (IST)ROLE OF 4 IAS, 1 HCS OFFICERS IN MGNREGS ‘SCAM’

Lokayukta tells CS to reply by Sept 24

‘Scam’ update

  • Lokayukta fixes September 24 as the next date for state government to file reply on explanation of five bureaucrats
  • Earlier, the chief secretary had sought explanations from four IAS and one HCS officers
  • Nine forest officers were booked in 2015 on CM Khattar’s intervention

Pradeep Sharma

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13

Justice Pritam Pal, Lokayuykta, today asked the Chief Secretary to file a detailed report on the action taken by the state government on the explanations of four IAS and one HCS officers for their alleged role in the multi-crore Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) ‘scam’ in Ambala.

He fixed September 24 as the date for filing reply by the Chief Secretary when he was apprised that the state government was yet to take a decision on the explanations submitted by the five bureaucrats.

The Lokayukta passed the order in the ongoing case filed by Panipat-based RTI activist PP Kapoor, who had demanded an FIR against the bureaucrats and a time-bound probe monitored by the Lokayukta into the alleged scam, which took place during 2007-2010.

The bureaucrats are Mohammad Shayin, Samir Pal Srow, , Renu Phulia, serving IAS officers, RP Bhardwaj, retired IAS officer, and Sumedha Kataria, an HCS officer.

Meanwhile, a representative of the State Vigilance Bureau(SVB), Ambala, also informed the Registrar of Lokayukta’s office that some of the record of case was ‘destroyed’ during floods. Earlier, the Chief Secretary had told the bureaucrats that the chief minister had approved the decision to seek an explanation from them

Quoting the report of the State Vigilance Bureau (SVB), the Chief Secretary’s communication said Rs 25.13 crore was released by the then Ambala DCs and ADCs under the MGNREGS without the administrative and technical approval. Besides, further instalments were released by the DCs and ADCs concerned without obtaining monthly progress reports and without any on-the-spot inspections.

On the orders of CM Manohar Lal Khattar, the SVB registered a case against nine Ambala Forest Department officials, including the then DFO (territorial), on January 30 in the ‘scam’ where Rs. 4.99 crore was allegedly embezzled while planting saplings and developing herbal parks in the district. Those booked included Jag Mohan Sharma, Gokul Sharma, Rajesh Rana, Prashant Sharma, Vinod Kumar, Kalyan Sharma, Deepak Kumar, Chandar Mohan and Surender Kumar.

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