Booked for graft, Mansa food controller accuses DC of false implication
Hours after the Mansa district food supply controller (DFSC) was booked along with two others for seeking bribe, he alleged the deputy commissioner had been harassing him over the upkeep of gaushalas and implicated him in a false case.
DFSC Tarvinder Singh Chopra and two inspectors of Punjab Grains Procurement Corporation Limited (Pungrain) were booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 on the orders of Mansa DC Dharam Pal Gupta. Gupta had been approached by members of the local truck union, who had accused Chopra of seeking bribe to clear their bills.
However, HT has learnt that Chopra and some depot managers of procurement agencies had a heated argument with the DC in a meeting last month.
Later, Chopra and other managers had sent a written complaint to the principal secretary, food, civil supplies and consumer affairs, accusing the deputy commissioner of harassing them.
Principal secretary KAP Sinha confirmed that he had received the complaint, and it was forwarded to the personnel department for probe.
‘DC demanded Rs 1 lakh, shouted at FCI manager’
“In the meeting held on May 18, depot managers of Markfed, Punsup, Warehouse, Punjab Agro and FCI were present,” reads the letter undersigned by the depot managers and DFSC, a copy of which is with HT. “The DC demanded (from) all of us to collect Rs 1 lakh, and when we objected to it, he shouted at the FCI manager.”
“The DC frequently asked the depot managers and me to pay up either for the upkeep of the local cattle pound or for other purposes,” Chopra told HT. “On failing to do so, they were harassed and intimidated by the DC, who would send SDMs to their godowns for physical inspection.”
A DC usually forwards complaints received by him for probe, but the DFSC was booked without any probe, said an official of the food supply department, who did not wish to be identified.
When contacted, DC Dharam Pal Gupta denied the allegations. “No one was harassed. Even if someone was asked to pay for the (upkeep of) gaushala, it’s just charity,” he said, before disconnecting the call.