CAG dismisses principal director
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), in line with its policy of zero tolerance against corruption, has dismissed principal director Sharada Subramaniam for irregularities allegedly committed by her 17 years ago when she was on deputation at the Coffee Board of India as director of finance, three officials said, requesting anonymity.
One of the officials working at the office of the CAG, the government auditor, said: “While CAG is very particular about the conduct of its officials, technically the dismissal of the principal director was effected by an order of the President of India.”
Subramaniam, a 1991 batch Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IA&AS) official, denied the charge which, she said, was baseless because of two prime reasons -- “non-availability of old files, and no single penny was diverted into any individual or personal account”.
“It is not necessary that an action taken by the government is a gospel truth. I have moved CAT [the Central Administrative Tribunal] and am awaiting justice,” she said.
A second official, who also works in the CAG’s office, said, “She was dismissed from service immediately after the finance ministry gave its approval in May this year.”
Email queries sent to CAG and the ministry of finance did not elicit any response.
According to a PTI report published in HT on September 6, 2017, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) booked the principal director for allegedly diverting funds of the Coffee Board during her posting there.
It said, quoting the first information report (FIR) filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation, that Subramaniam was charged with allegedly diverting Rs 16.2 crore of the Coffee Board funds into mutual funds, causing a loss of Rs 53.3 lakh to the organisation and corresponding gain to herself during her posting as its director, finance. The case pertained to the period between 1998 and 2003.
Subramaniam on Monday said, “No single officer could take such a financial decision alone. All decisions pertaining to financial matters were taken collectively and with complete knowledge of my superiors. No money is traced to any personal or individual account. Entire money remains with the government. I have been framed for some notional loss...Truth will come out if relevant documents are produced.”
A third official, working at the finance ministry, said, “The action has been taken after a thorough investigation on this matter.”