IN AN unprecedented move, the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has decided to deduct salaries of its chief executive officer (CEO) Deepak Kumar and executive engineer (XEN) Sunil Malik for not returning high-end mobile phones purchased from board funds. The board has also initiated proceedings against former CHB secretary Mandeep Kaur and former chief engineer G S Rosha after they failed to return mobile phones purchased from board funds.
The board had decided to take back all the mobile phones purchased by its officials from board funds. One-month time was given to the officials for returning the mobile phones, failing which 50 per cent of the price of the mobile was to be recovered from the salary of defaulting officials.
As per the official records of the board, a total of 46 officials, including the chairman, had taken mobile phones from boards funds.
CEO Deepak Kumar had purchased a high-end Sony phone at a cost of Rs 51,000. He failed to return the phone claiming that he lost the phone for which he had lodged a daily diary report (DDR) at a local police station. For not complying with the directions, Rs 25,500 will be deducted from his salary.
Similarly, XEN Sunil Malik had purchased Nokia 6300 for Rs 14,900. He also claimed to have lost the phone. He had got an FIR registered at Sector 34 police station on March 3, 2008.
Former CHB secretary Mandeep Kaur, who was repatriated to her home state Haryana in April 2015, had purchased Sony Z phone for Rs 38,440. In her reply, she claimed to have lost the phone. She had got an FIR registered on December 24, 2103. Former chief engineer G S Rosha, who retired in 2011, had purchased a BlackBerry handset for Rs 31,750. He also claimed to have lost the phone in Delhi for which he had got an FIR registered on May 17, 2010.
The board will write to the Haryana government for recovering Rs 19,220 from Kaur while Rs 15,875 will be recovered from retirement benefits of Rosha.
A total of 15 officials returned mobile phones in non-working condition while 15 purchased the phones after making a payment to the board as per the present market rates of the handsets. The remaining 12 officials, including chairman Maninder Singh, returned their phones in working condition.
The CHB chairman said that the decision of taking back mobile phones from officials purchased from board funds was taken at a board meeting. “Baring four, everyone complied with the orders,” he said.
Terming it a right step, Prem Kaushik, a member of the board, said that board funds should not be wasted on such items. “A police probe is required to ascertain if the phones were actually lost, as per claims of four officials,” said Kaushik.
A ban has also been imposed on officials purchasing mobile phones from board funds.