Punjab director general, school education (DGSE), Kahan Singh Pannu has proceeded on 'leave', apparently due to differences with education minister Sikander Singh Maluka.
Pannu, who was recently assaulted in Uttarakhand by a group of Sikhs, reportedly requested chief minister Parkash Singh Badal recently to transfer him from the education department.
On the directions of the CM's office, Pannu had conducted an inquiry into the purchase of books for libraries under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). On the basis of this inquiry, the CM ordered the suspension of three "blue-eyed" officials of Maluka, while a central government team visited Punjab to probe the allegations of SSA funds' misuse.
Bypassing the education secretary and the DGSE, Maluka had formed a three-member committee which, going against the SSA rules, made the purchase of books, science kits and other items worth crores of rupees.
After coming back from Uttarakhand, Pannu had requested the CM for his transfer. However, due to a delay in the decision on his request, he has preferred not to attend office.
The Centre will ask the Punjab government to reply to the fact-finding committee report, which has mentioned that the process adopted to purchase books was against the rules.
Despite several attempts, Pannu could not be contacted. Sources said he had moved an application for leave.
When contacted, Maluka said he had not received any request for leave from Pannu so far.