Panchayat funds embezzelment: High court raps govt | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Panchayat funds embezzelment: High court raps govt

Even as the Punjab government has chargesheeted and suspended more than 200 panchayat department officials for embezzlement of panchayat funds, the high court has directed it to proceed against the remaining officials as well as sarpanches and panches.

chandigarh Updated: May 04, 2012 11:36 IST
HT Correspondent

Even as the Punjab government has chargesheeted and suspended more than 200 panchayat department officials for embezzlement of panchayat funds, the high court has directed it to proceed against the remaining officials as well as sarpanches and panches.

A division bench comprising acting chief justice MM Kumar and justice Alok Singh issued the directions on a public interest litigation filed by Kulwant Singh of Ludhiana, seeking audit of funds of all panchayats across the state.

During the hearing of the case, the bench observed that the officers had been chargesheeted/suspended on "pick and choose" basis. It said there were instances where huge amounts had been embezzled but none of the officials had been chargesheeted or suspended.

Balwinder Singh, director, rural development and panchayats, submitted before the court that out of 12,000 panchayats in the state, accounts of 7,771 panchayats had been audited. He said 49 block development and panchayat officers (BDPOs) and 39 panchayat secretaries had been issued chargesheets and one BDPO and 11 panchayat secretaries had been suspended.

The officer also gave a detailed report on the action taken against various offenders. He said show-cause notices had been issued to 11 BDPOs and 25 panchayat secretaries for not producing panchayats records before the auditors. The next hearing is on May 23.