Haryana favours Panipat DC, waives Rs 5-lakh penal rent | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Haryana favours Panipat DC, waives Rs 5-lakh penal rent

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had decisively made IRS officer-turned activist and Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal cough up his dues last year and then defended the timing of the pay-up notice in the face of criticism.

chandigarh Updated: Apr 21, 2012 12:35 IST
Navneet Sharma

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had decisively made IRS officer-turned activist and Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal cough up his dues last year and then defended the timing of the pay-up notice in the face of criticism.

But the Congress government in Haryana seems quite considerate towards the higher bureaucracy in the state. It has waived dues of more than Rs 5 lakh of 2001-batch IAS officer JS Ahlawat, who is posted as the Panipat deputy commissioner at present, towards penal rent for retaining a government house in Panchkula beyond his entitlement period.

The "special favour" was shown to the well-connected IAS officer on a representation submitted in September last year for waiving the penal rent. The public works department (buildings and roads) proposed the waiver, describing his overstay as a "bonafide mistake". The proposal was approved by chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

"The officer stated that after he was transferred, he locked the house for the purpose of ensuring the safety of the fixtures and none of his family members was staying in the premises. He simply forgot to vacate the house and did so only when a notice regarding recovery was received," according to official documents.

The finance department had first refused to allow the waiver of dues but fell in line later. When contacted, Ahlawat said he had submitted a representation to the government which waived off the entire penalty. "I had left the house. I do not want to say anything more on this matter," he told Hindustan Times.

However, PWD (B&R) officials are tight-lipped on the issue.

Ahlawat was allotted the government house in Panchkula's Sector 6 in 2005 when he was additional excise and taxation commissioner in Chandigarh. After he got into the IAS in 2006 by way of selection from among the non-state civil service officers, he was transferred and moved out of Chandigarh without vacating the house.

"The house was locked since March 2007 and no vacation report was received. The condition of the house had also deteriorated. The officer vacated the house after keeping it locked for 42 months," said a PWD official.

The department had sent several reminders to the IAS officer for payment of dues and penalty at the rate of 50 times the normal rent, but did not receive any rent for this period.