Indictment by investigating agencies, in one case by the Central Vigilance Commission, has not moved the UT Engineering Department to initiate action against some of its officials. Documents accessed by Chandigarh Newsline reveal that there are at least two such officials against whom inquiries have concluded and action has been recommended by investigating agencies.
One such official is Trilochan Singh, who is holding charge of Superintending Engineer in Public Health Department. He was given one year’s extension in service beyond 58 years of age. An inquiry was initiated against him along with 16 others for causing loss to the public exchequer in 2009. The issue pertained to the period when Trilochan Singh was Sub-Divisional Engineer (SDE).
In 2010, the Home Secretary-cum-Chief Vigilance Officer, in a report to the Finance Secretary-cum-Secretary Engineering, had stated that “there is negligence and dereliction of duty on part of officials of Public Health Department which had caused loss to the government exchequer”.
The inquiry report read, “The Vigilance Cell has made out a criminal case against the 17 officials. But it is felt that it may not be possible to prosecute them in court as a large number of officers/officials remained posted during the period and it would be impossible to point lapses and prove the mens rea. In view of this, it has been considered appropriate to proceed against these employees departmentally for their negligence in performance of duties.”
Interestingly, while warnings were issued recently by the municipal corporation to 15 of those named in the report, no action was initiated against the two who were from the administration. Instead, during the course of the inquiry, Trilochan Singh was promoted to the post of executive engineer. He is at present holding charge of both SE and XEN.
Trilochan Singh said, “I have never received any communication from either the administration or CVC about any action. I was holding additional charge in MC for two months. The case pertained to an illegal connection. In two month’s time how could I have benefited? Someone is trying to tarnish my name to prevent further extension being given to me.”
Another case is that of Rajesh Bansal who is currently on deputation from the UT Administration to the municipal corporation and serving as executive engineer. The Central Vigilance Commission has recommended initiation of major penalty proceeding against him.
The case pertained to earth filling around toilet blocks when he was serving in the administration as SDE. Changes were made in the measurement books allegedly by JE Ishwar Saini and Bansal.
A communication by the Deputy Secretary, CVC, read, “They were having malafide intention to make payments to the contractor for earth filling as sand filling around toilet blocks. The Commission in disagreement with Chandigarh Administration would advise initiation of Major Penalty Proceedings against Sh Rajesh Bansal, the then SDE, and Sh Ishwar Saini, JE.”
However, no action has been initiated till now. Instead Bansal is on deputation to MC at a higher rank. As per rules, since action has been recommended against Bansal, he would have to be repatriated to the administration as SDE.
Apart from these two officials, there were several who had been serving at sensitive posts for years together which is against the CVC guidelines. The orders for their transfer have now been issued.