CS-led panel to peruse graft cases on Oct 30

IMPHAL,24th Oct: Top officials are likely to face punitive action as the high-powered committee formed by the state government will be examining corruption charges levelled against various departments on October 30. According to a source, chief secretary Dr Suresh J Babu will be chairing the committee meeting wherein department authorities accused of indulging in corrupt acts will be examined for initiation of suitable punitive measures, in case they are found to be accountable for misuse of official position.

Stating that the October 30 meeting will be convened as per the provisions of Manipur Public Servant Personal Liability Rules, 2006, the source disclosed that departments facing charges of corruption and financial irregularities include Tourism, Transport, Sericulture, Social Welfare, Revenue, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Information Technology, Water Resource, Fisheries, Treasury (Finance), Relief and Disaster Management, Education and Consumers Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

It is informed that among the graft tainted departments seven officials of the Social Welfare Department are accused of embezzling Rs 90.67 lakh while some top Transport Department officials are also likely to feel the heat in case the high-powered committee is convinced about financial indiscipline and other misdemeanours. The source said that a total of Rs 69.82 lakh received as sale proceeds of railway tickets could not be accounted for till date.

Other charges that the transport department are facing pertain to defiance of a court directive for disbursement of arrears to Manipur State Transport pensioners as well as allowances of other department employees.

Launch of Manipur Sericulture Project at Sangaipat, Imphal East district, controversies over appointment under the die-in-harness scheme in Tourism Department and recruitment of 28 Lower Division Clerks in Revenue Department will also be under the scanner of the committee, the source said, adding that the Sangaipat project was initiated without the approval of the government of Manipur or the State Advisory Board as is mandatory for such projects.

The upcoming graft cases perusal meeting will also figure financial misappropriation charge being faced by a cashier of the office of deputy commissioner (Bishnupur) with regard to financial transaction related to Relief and Disaster Management Department, non-adherence to prescribed norms by MANITRON in implementing projects funded under the Additional Central Assistance and 11th Finance Commission.

In the case of Water Resource, the committee will be examining report of financial indiscipline involving an executive engineer of IFCD as well as allotment of work order for a component of Khuga Multi-purpose project without official authorisation.

Allegations levelled against the Fishery Department include development/construction of fish handling, waiting shed and jetty by TP Cell of the department at Thanga-Karang, Thanga Khunjao and Karang in Bishnupur district. The said projects were reportedly taken up without knowledge or consent of authority concerned, the source said.

The case against treasury department pertains to fraudulent withdrawal/transaction involving three DDOs of Works Department from the Lamphel treasury office whereas charges of financial irregularities besetting Education Department and CAF&PD, which the committee will be examining will be based on the findings/reports submitted by the SIT, which was specifically formed to investigate into allegations of wrongdoings.

Misuse of public fund by a former district programme coordinator of MGNREGA in RD&PR, Bishnupur office, appointment of an employee on the sly, misuse of public fund in implementation of integrated rural electrification programme, complaints over financial indiscipline as well as alleged arbitrary activities of BDOs and controversial appointments are some of the charges levelled against the RD & PR department.

The source further confided that additional chief secretary, director and other officials of PR & RD have been advised to attend the October 30 meeting and furnish relevant documents before the committee members.

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