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UT admn to serve show-cause notice to two IAS officers

Audit said they overstayed, splurged ₹60 lakh SPIC funds during three trips to Europe in 2015-16.

punjab Updated: Oct 22, 2018 12:50 IST
Hillary Victor
Hillary Victor
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
UT admn,IAS officers,Society for Promotion of Information and Technology
SB Deepak Kumar is posted as the finance secretary, Daman and Diu, while Prince Dhawan is the deputy commissioner of Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh.(HT File)

Days after the local audit department raised objections against foreign jaunts of two Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officers during their tenure with the Society for Promotion of Information and Technology (SPIC) in Chandigarh, the UT administration has sought a report from the IT department.

The administration will also be issuing show-cause notices to the two officers, who have since been transferred from Chandigarh on completing their three years, questioning them as to why ₹60 lakh SPIC funds splurged on three trips in 2015-16 should not be recovered from them.

The officers are SB Deepak Kumar, the thenSPIC president, and Prince Dhawan, the then SPICchief executive officer (CEO). They visited three countries — France, Spain and Germany — to attend international conferences and overstayed, leading to additional expenses. HT had highlighted the issue on October 12.

At present, SB Deepak Kumar is posted as the finance secretary, Daman and Diu, while Prince Dhawan is the deputy commissioner of Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh. Both officers belong to the Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre.

Can face dismissal

Speaking to HT, IT secretary Ajoy Kumar Sinha said: “I have sought a report from the IT director on the foreign visits of these two officers. We’ll act according to the report.”

Meanwhile, another senior officer, who did not wish to be named, said show-cause notices will be issued to the officers before taking any action against them.According to rules, if any officer overstays during an official tour, they have to pay for the return journey from their own pocket. Also, if any officer claims wrong travelling and dearness allowance, the minimum punishment is dismissal from service, the officer said.

SPIC has been set up under the aegis of the department of information technology, UT administration, for implementing various plans to promote IT industry in Chandigarh.

Not new to controversies

SB Deepak Kumar: In 2016, when he was the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) CEO, ₹40 lakh were spent on sprucing up his official residence in Sector 16. The expenditure on various items, including air-conditioners, furniture and bathroom accessories, made byKumarat his “camp office” was ₹24 lakh. It was done without the board’s approval, following which he was divested of the charge .

Earlier, in December 2015, Kumar demanded a specific smart phone worth ₹50,000 from the CHB. However, his demand was turned down by the board secretary, saying therewas no policy to provide electronic gadget to the officers.

In March this year, Kumar was again in the news after a Congress woman leader slapped him for allegedly using derogatory language against her at the Surat airport.

Prince Dhawan: In April 2015, the CHB secretary complained to the adviser about Dhawan, accusing him of misuse of power and showing disregard to a woman officer. Dhawan was posted asthe sub-divisional magistrate (central) and officer on special duty to the UT adviser.

In August 2016, Dhawan was in the news afterthe land acquisition officer issued a notice to his father for installing a mobile tower on agricultural land without permission.

First Published: Oct 22, 2018 12:49 IST