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Bhopal commissioner guilty

india Updated: Dec 30, 2006 13:15 IST
Saeed Khan

BHOPAL MUNICIPAL Commissioner Manish Singh has been found guilty of causing a loss of Rs 21.13 lakh to the government exchequer while posted as Mandi Secretary, Indore, during a preliminary inquiry by the MP State Agriculture Marketing Board.

The inquiry accused Singh of failing to properly maintain Mandi accounts and submit timely income tax returns, adding that the delay led to the imposition of Rs 21.13 lakh penalty on the Board. He was further charged with neglecting to adjust salary advances amounting to Rs 10.72 lakh issued to employee against their accounts.

Following the submission of the inquiry report, the Board issued a 15-day notice to the Municipal Commissioner seeking to know why a proposal for disciplinary action against him for the ‘grave financial irregularities’ should not be forwarded to the General Administration Department.

The missive (No 3/1/3149/P-2/660, dated October 10, 2006,) signed by Marketing Board Managing Director M A Khan indicts Singh for ‘delay in preparing annual accounts, filing income tax returns and submitting advance income tax for 2003-04. The returns were eventually filed more than three years later, in 2006-07, after the annual balance sheet was certified by a
chartered accountant’.

The delay resulted in penalties plus interest amounting to Rs 21,13,319 being levied on the Board, added the letter, a copy of which is in possession of the Hindustan Times.

Khan further charged the former Mandi Secretary with delaying adjustments of salary advances worth Rs 10,72,850 issued to employees in ‘clear violation of Accounts Rules, 1980, and MP Marketing Development Fund Rules, 2000’.

“As Mandi Secretary it was your responsibility to ensure proper maintenance of records and timely payments of taxes. The present case makes it clear that you failed to carry out the duties of the post you were holding and this resulted in an economic loss of Rs 21.13 lakh through income tax penalties’.

The missive directed Singh to submit an answer to the Board headquarters within a fortnight failing which an ex-parte decision would be taken on the matter.

Bhopal Municipal Commissioner Manish Singh said he was not aware of the preliminary inquiry report and would be able to comment only after going through the documents.

However, sources in the Mandi Board said there was no practice of Mandis in the State filing returns to income tax department. The process of filing returns by the Mandis started only a few years back. Hence, the delay in filing returns was not an isolated case at Indore.