The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Centre to inform about its proposed line of action with regard to cases in which IAS officers had misused Red Cross funds to the tune of crores of rupees in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.
The directions came from the division bench headed by chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul on Friday during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation filed by non-governmental organisation (NGO) Resurgence India.
Appearing for the petitioner, advocate APS Shergill argued that enough material had come on record to show the complicity of the officers and some of them had even returned the benefits realised. He submitted, "This cannot recuse the appropriate action from being taken against the IAS officers."
The scandal had surfaced after HT published a series of reports in December 2007, based on voluminous information obtained under the Right To Information (RTI) Act by Resurgence India. Later, the NGO had moved the high court, seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and prosecution of erring IAS officers who had allegedly misused Red Cross funds to the tune of crores of rupees.
The high court had in March 2009 constituted a committee comprising justice AL Bahri (retd) and justice RK Nehru (retd) to look into the doubtful working of Red Cross societies in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. The committee had submitted a number of reports highlighting irregularities and giving various suggestions.
The case would now come up for hearing on August 7.