The Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta is probing alleged irregularities in the hosting of a dinner for around 250 IAS officers with taxpayers' money and has sought the state government's reply on the issue by October 7.
Official sources said over Rs 1.50 lakh was allegedly routed from the exchequer's account to foot the bill of the dinner hosted late last year by state chief secretary Avani Vaish for the IAS officers, most of them serving in the state, at a private club here.
The dinner was hosted on October 8, 2010 under the aegis of IAS officers Association Service Meet, a private amalgam.
Also, about Rs 2.65 lakh was spent on a 'high tea' party organised for bureaucrats by the MP Hospitality Office on October 9 and 10 at the chief minister's residence and at a hotel maintained by Madhya Pradesh Tourism respectively.
"A case has been registered and investigations are on. We sought the government's reply before October 7," a Lokayukta officer said.
Ajay Dubey, member of corruption watchdog Transparency International, said, "It is a sheer violation of government norms."
However, senior state government officials requesting anonymity maintained the dinner was purely a government affair and no rules were violated.
As per the procedure, the bill for dinner should have been made in the name of Prashant Mehta, president of the IAS association, and has to be paid by the members' money, Dubey said.
The state hospitality office does not have any provision for paying bills for government dinners except for state guests, he added.