The UT food, supplies and consumer department's recent move to release food grain confiscated in a case of misappropriation in December 2012 has drawn flak from a city-based consumers' body.
In a complaint to the top officials of UT administration, including adviser KK Sharma, the Consumer Federation of Ration Card Holders (CFRCH) has alleged that department officials destroyed vital evidence by releasing the confiscated food grain.
Federation president Rajinder Kumar Gupta has alleged that district food and supplies officer (DFSO) Praveen Kumar disposed of the food grain - confiscated in a raid on a fair price shop in Mauli Jagran on December 21, 2012- without taking the mandatory permission of the court.
On December 21, 2012, then sub-divisional magistrate (south) Kashish Mittal, in a raid on the fair price shop (FPS), found that quantity of wheat, rice and sugar stocked by the depot holder exceeded the quantity mentioned in his sales and stock registers. Manimajra police had registered a case against the owner of the fair price shop.
The federation alleged that the department wrongly handed over the custody of the food grain -132.5-quintal wheat, 8-quintal rice and 4-quintal sugar - to Manimajra police. Under norms, food grain confiscated for food offences is to be in the custody of the department of food and supplies.
The department wrote to the SHO Manimajra police station on March 1, asking him to hand over the seized material to the owner of another fair price shop, Vipin Kumar, who deposited the cost of the good grains through a bank draft in favour of the district food and supplies officer and lifted the essential commodities from the police station .
Gutpa demanded the transfer of the case - registered under section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 - against the depot holder to the vigilance bureau. He also demanded the registration of a criminal case against Praveen Kumar, DFSO, Pradeep Kumar, assistant food and supplies officer, and Manoj Kumar, area food inspector, for destroying vital evidence in connivance with each other.