PMO directs PCMC to initiate probe against chief account
PMO received complaints on its portal against Rajesh Lande, chief account, PCMC, for allegedly receiving kickbacks from the contractors in return of sanctioning their bills. The PMO, while taking cognisance of the case, asked for an inquiry into the matterpune Updated: Jun 29, 2017 18:52 IST
The alleged bribery case involving Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s (PCMC) chief accountant has reached the doors of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). The PMO has now instructed the civic body to initiate a probe into the case.
Around a month ago, the PMO received complaints on its portal against Rajesh Lande, chief accountant, PCMC, for allegedly receiving kickbacks from the contractors in return of sanctioning their bills. The PMO, while taking cognisance of the case, asked for an inquiry into the matter.
Following PMO’s directive, the PCMC initiated the inquiry, said officials. “Around a month ago, a complaint was lodged on the PMO portal, following which the Prime Minister’s Office took cognisance of the matter and sought probe. We have received the same complaint, which says that Lande was asking for 3% commission on every bill he sanctioned,” Shravan Hardikar, PCMC commissioner told Hindustan Times through a text message.
The civic body commissioner said that an inquiry has been launched and a report has been sought by his office.
“If any one demands bribe, citizens can file a complain directly with the anti corruption department,” said Hardikar, refusing to share more details about the complainant and the allegations. The probe against Lande was debated during the general body (GB) meeting of the civic body on Wednesday.
Lande was transferred from the Nashik municipal corporation three years ago to the Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporation. He was accused of blocking the Diwali grant to the employees of the corporation, leading to 'feud' between the employees' federation and the chief accountant.
He even had a dispute with ex mayor Shakuntala Dharade over grants. Eventually Dinesh Waghmare, the then commissioner, made a reconciliation and gave the grant to the employees. The municipal meeting had also proposed a replacement for Rajesh Lande, but he retained his appointment. Not only this, he changed the structure of his office.
Rajesh Lande has cancelled contractual bills of ₹160 crores after the expiry of the March 31 deadline. The opposition alleges that Rajesh Lande is working under BJP's pressure. Lande had deployed security guards outside the department's office. For the first time in 35 years, the municipal corporation department was operating with security guards. Contractors, whose bills have been banned, complained directly to the Prime Minister's website. The Prime Minister's Office has taken serious note of the request of the commissioner.
The process of administering the probe is underway. After the action, it will be sent to the Prime Minister’s portal. If any officer of the municipal corporation is demanding unnecessary funds from the citizens, then citizens should file a complaint with the ACB, Hardikar appealed.
This issue was discussed in a standing committee meeting of the Pimpri-Municipal Municipal Corporation on Wednesday. Rajesh Lande has been asked to explain the matter. The administration told the members of the standing committee that he would be sent to the Prime Minister's Office. Members of the standing committee have demanded that strict action be taken against those found guilty in this case.Criminal prosecution should be filed against the concerned complainant for defamation if Rajesh Lande is not guilty.