Delhi L-G suspends 2 SDMs, official posted in CM office on corruption charges
Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena on Wednesday ordered the suspension of three officials in the Delhi government over alleged corruption charges involving government land, senior officials in the L-G office said on Wednesday.
Of the three officers, who will now face an internal inquiry by the revenue department, one was posted as a deputy secretary in chief minister’s office and the other two were sub-divisional magistrates (SDMs).
“Reiterating zero tolerance to corruption and probity in government functioning, the L-G has ordered the suspension of Prakash Chand Thakur, deputy secretary in the CMO, Harshit Jain, SDM of Vasant Vihar and Devender Sharma, SDM of Vivek Vihar. Now, disciplinary proceedings will be initiated against these officers which involves an inquiry to be conducted by the revenue department,” said a Raj Niwas official who asked not to be named.
All three officers are from Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS) cadre.
The Delhi government did not comment on the matter, but a senior official in the CM office said Thakur was one of the 5-6 deputy secretaries posted there.
A second senior official in the L-G office said all the three cases pertain to corruption involving government land which was allegedly sold to private entities. “Prima facie, procedural lapses were found in all three cases which indicated financial irregularities,” the official said.
The move after two assistant engineers of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) were suspended on June 17 after the L-G visited flats constructed for economically weaker sections (EWS) at Kalkaji extension and found the work substandard and incomplete.
Though the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) did not issue any formal statement on the matter, a senior party functionary said that the case involving Thakur took place before he was transferred to the CMO as deputy secretary.
Government records showed that Thakur’s posting at the CMO was done along with the transfer of nine other officials on September 15, 2020. He was then serving as an SDM at the headquarters of the revenue department in Civil Lines.
“Transfer and postings are done by the services department which comes under the direct control of the L-G. We have no control on which officer comes and goes in various departments. It is all reviewed and approved by the L-G. This case in which Thakur is being investigated is regarding some government land that was allegedly sold to some private entity in Narela zone,” the senior AAP functionary said.
The Delhi BJP said the suspension of a CMO official has exposed the hollowness of honest governance claims by the AAP. “The CM claims zero tolerance on corruption, but today a black sheep has been found in his own office clearly indicating there is no monitoring against corruption in the CM office and in the Delhi government secretariat,” said Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor.
Meanwhile, AAP leader Sanjay Singh on Wednesday accused the BJP-led government of planning the demolition of 53 temples in Delhi. “Today, I am disclosing how the BJP is planning to demolish temples in Delhi. They just play drama in the name of religion across the country and spread hatred, but now the Modi government is planning to destroy 53 temples in the national capital. The central government has written a letter to the Religious Committee of the Delhi government, asking permission to demolish 53 temples. The list includes the ancient temples of Shri Ram, Krishna temple, Durga temple, Mahadev temple, Sai Baba temple and gurdwaras,” Singh said in a press conference.
The Ladakh UT administration has thrown open helicopter service for tourists visiting the region known for its natural beauty. “The first batch of tourists availed heli-service in Ladakh as the administration opens the service for tourists and visitors, in general,” said an official spokesperson. The administration has opened the services with two choppers, a five-seater B-3 chopper and a larger Mi-172.
The state government is committed towards modernising and strengthening the police force to ensure professional and effective policing, chief minister Jai Ram Thakur said on Wednesday. He was virtually inaugurating and laying stones for 43 projects of the police department worth ₹160 crore from Shimla on Wednesday. He also announced upgradation of Police Post, Sanjauli, to police station. He said last year the state government had provided 394 vehicles to the police department.
Two bike-borne men were arrested with 151g heroin in Sector 17 on Wednesday. The accused Tarun of Yamunanagar and Lakhwinder of Ambala were in possession of 101.5g and 50g of the contraband, respectively. Cell in-charge Rakesh said, “The accused had recently returned from abroad and had rented an accommodation in Sector 17. They were on their way to deliver drugs to Mustafabad, when they were arrested, following a tip off.”
Two farmers were killed after they inhaled toxic gas inside a manhole in Gangwa village in Hisar on Tuesday night. The victims, Satpal and Madan Singh, were among the five farmers who had entered a manhole to clear a pipeline after the water supply to the farmers' field stopped.
A day after getting arrested red-handed while accepting a bribe of ₹4 lakh to drop rape charges from an FIR, the services of a woman assistant sub-inspector have been terminated. Karnal superintendent of police Ganga Ram Punia confirmed that the services of the ASI, Sarita Rani, have been terminated with immediate effect. A resident of Sonkra village, Navjot Singh alleged that Rani had already taken ₹10,000 as bribe.