Punjab government will pay Rs 6 lakh to Gurdev Singh, who was mistaken as an accused in the alleged Rs 1000 crore irrigation scam in Punjab and detained at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi on November 2. He was later let off and allowed to take the next flight to UK after authorities learnt about the goof up. Punjab Finance Department on Monday gave approval to release “Rs 6 lakh” with a rider that administrative department of Punjab Vigilance Bureau will mention the amount in revised budget estimates of 2017-18.
Finance Department also said that the amount being released will be recovered from government official/employee responsible for the goof up and be deposited in government treasury as per Clause 5 of the Punishment and Appeal Rules 1970 Sub-section 3 of which dealing into minor penalties reads: “Recovery from his pay of the whole or part of any pecuniary loss caused by him to the government by negligence or breach of orders”.
On November 15, Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered Punjab through its Chief Secretary to tender written unconditional apology to Gurdev Singh along with a demand draft of Rs 5 lakh and cost of the air ticket from New Delhi to London within a period of four weeks. The Punjab and Haryana High Court sought a compliance report to be placed before it on December 19.
“The chief secretary shall identify and proceed against the employee/employees concerned in departmental inquiry for misconduct and also specifically for charge to recover the said amount of Rs 5 lakh plus cost of air ticket and to recover the amount from such employee/employees and with such ‘minor’ punishment as is deemed fit,” the court had observed. Punjab Vigilance Bureau was in fact looking for retired Chief Engineer Gurdev Singh Syan for which a look out circular was issued in connection with the Irrigation scam. In a case of mistaken identity, a man with same name, Gurdev Singh, was detained by immigration authorities at Indira Gandhi International Airport.