The Punjab government has referred the cases of retired Punjab-cadre IAS officers KS Sidhu and Harkesh Singh Sidhu to the Centre’s department of personnel and training for initiating disciplinary action against them for misappropriation of Red Cross societies’ funds.
The information was submitted in the Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation. It was informed that action against these officers would be taken under the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules 1969 and All India Services (Death-cum-retirement benefits) Rules, 1958.
The government also informed that these cases had been referred on September 8 to the department of personnel and training. The court was also told that the competent authority had decided to initiate disciplinary action and a showcause notice was being issued to IAS officer Vikas Garg.
It was added that since IAS officer K Siva Prasad had returned Rs 1.7 lakh, the file had been submitted to the competent authority “for appropriate decision.” However, the cases against IAS officers SR Ladhar and Sarvjit Singh had been closed after considering their replies.
The impropriety found by the competent authority against KS Sidhu was that during his tenure as Gurdaspur deputy commissioner (DC), a payment of Rs 1 lakh was made to MTNL (Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited) of the telephone installed at a member of Parliament’s New Delhi residence in January 2002 from Red Cross funds.
Similarly, one Toyota Innova vehicle amounting Rs 10.5 lakh was purchased in June 2011 during Harkesh Singh Sidhu’s tenure as the Kapurthala DC from the fund. The competent authority had also found that during Vikas Garg’s tenure as Patiala DC, one Toyota Innova vehicle amounting to Rs 10 lakh was purchased by raising loan against the fixed deposit receipt (FDR) that was yet to mature.
It was also found that IAS officer K Siva Prasad had made an expenditure of Rs 1.7 lakh for payment of his mobile phone bills from Red Cross funds.
Also, it was found that during SR Ladhar’s tenure as the Sangrur DC, monthly rent of a marriage palace was arbitrarily reduced. When Sarvjit Singh was the Sangrur DC a petrol pump site was leased out without any tendering process to a public sector company. The court was informed on Thursday that now a decision had been taken to have a comprehensive policy on such issues.The case would now come for hearing on December 5.
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