THE MISSING files of IAS and PCS officers for which a Punjab government official spent 16 months in jail were found during shifting of records from old to new almirahs at the mini secretariat. As many as 22 files, including four of IAS and 18 of PCS officers, were found from the government record two days ago, seven years after 35 such files had gone missing. Sources in the government told The Indian Express that the files were found from the records of the General Administration Department (GAD), maintained and stored at the mini secretariat in Sector 9.
Surprisingly, the files had gone missing from the Department of Personnel housed in the Civil Secretariat, Sector 1, here. On how the files reached the mini secretariat is still a mystery. Yog Raj Sharma, posted as Under Secretary in the DoP at the time of disappearance of the files, was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment. He also underwent a 16-month sentence before he was given bail by the High Court pending an appeal.
Sources said the files were located by employees while shifting almirahs. Recently, the department had purchased branded steel almirahs to keep the records safe. When the files were dusted and shifted to the new ones, these were recovered. The administrative officer of GAD, Mohinder Singh, reported the matter to his seniors. The GAD has now written to the DoP to take possession of the files and do the needful. “We are not ordering any inquiry as of today as the official, who was found guilty by departmental inquiry, was convicted. We will decide the future course of action if the court asks for a reply,” said an official, adding that they do not know how these files went to the mini secretariat from the civil secretariat of Punjab. “We cannot say anything. Yog Raj Sharma was transferred to the irrigation department that time. The irrigation department is housed at the mini secretariat. Our record still shows these were in the custody of Yog Raj last time.” The officials said they could not fathom how these could go to the GAD record. Claiming he did not know how the files reached the mini secretariat, Sharma said, “There are CCTV cameras in the secretariat as well as mini secretariat.”
As many as 35 files had gone missing from the personnel department. During the hearing of the case, the investigating officer had submitted that 14 files were related to the IAS branch and 21 to the PCS. Of these, six files were related to disciplinary action.