First-ever graft complaint against IAS officer before Odisha Lokayukta
An RTI activist in Odisha has sought a probe against a senior state bureaucrat over the alleged reimbursement of medical bills and payment of allowances, which he says violated the rules of the organisation he was in charge of.
This is the first-ever complaint of corruption against an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer in Odisha before the office of Lokayukta, after it was formed under the Odisha Lokayukta Act, 2014. The old office of Lokpal stood repealed with the passage of the new act.
RTI activist Srikant Pakal alleged in his complaint before Odisha Lokayukta Ajit Singh on Monday that the officer was reimbursed Rs 9.46 lakh for medical bills in three phases towards the hospitalisation of his wife and father in violation of the existing norms.
Citing a recent inspection report of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), the RTI activist alleged in his complaint that the officer was reimbursed for his expenses on books, his actual electricity expenses and orderly allowances at Rs 3,000 per month even though there were no policy or guidelines under which he was eligible for various benefits.
The NABARD inspection report advised the registrar of Cooperative Societies to run the cooperative bank on the basis of rules, not discretion after the payment of hospital reimbursements to the officer.
Pakal also alleged the bureaucrat got an incentive worth Rs 4.2 lakh between 2013 and 2016 though he was not eligible.
NABARD had made an inspection of OSCB between February 14 and March 6 this year under section 35(6) of Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and found that the bank had not followed its guidelines on Risk Management System, review of viability and financial position of affiliated district central cooperative banks.
After the formation of Lokayukta, there have been 28 complaints against various government officials.
As per the Odisha Lokayukta Act, the Lokayukta need not take sanction from the government if its investigating wing finds prima facie evidence against a government official. The Lokayukta can then order for the filing of a chargesheet before a special court.