Seven years after Haryana got a national award for excellent implementation of then UPA government’s flagship rural employment scheme in Ambala district, the state Lokayukta has recommended registration of an FIR against four IAS officers in connection with alleged irregularities in the implementation of MGNREGA between 2007-2010.
The officers are: Faridabad Deputy Commissioner Samir Pal Srow, Managing Director in Haryana Federation of Cooperative Sugar Mills, Mohammad Shayin, Kurukshetra Deputy Commissioner Sumedha Kataria and Director of Women and Child Development Department Renu Phulia.
Lokayukta Justice (retd) Nawal Kishore Agarwal pronounced the order on Friday over alleged irregularities to the tune of Rs 25 crore.
“In view of my foregoing findings, discussions and observations, which are based on a vigilance inquiry, it is recommended to the competent authority to initiate appropriate action including registration of criminal case against Mohammd Shayin, Shri Samir Pal Srow, the then Deputy Commissioners, Smt. Renu Phulia, and Smt. Sumedha Kataria, the then Additional Deputy Commissioners, Ambala at par with what has been initiated against the forest officials and therefore a senior competent police officer, having an impeccable reputation and integrity, be deputed to investigate the matter,” the Lokayukta said in the order.
The Lokayukta also said that an action taken report on the recommendations be sent to it within three months. Justice Agarwal has sent his recommendations to state Chief Secretary DS Dhesi. Haryana’s Health Minister and Ambala Cantt MLA Anil Vij has hailed the Lokayukta’s decision.
Earlier, a Vigilance probe in 2012 into the alleged scam had not only indicted senior forest officers, but had also recommended action against the IAS officers.
Months after taking over, the BJP government in 2015 had ordered an FIR against nine forest officers, including the then Ambala Divisional Forest Officer Jagmohan Sharma. Later, an RTI activist, P P Kapoor, approached the Lokayutka alleging that the government took action against junior officers, but spared the IAS officers.
According to the Vigilance report, the bureaucrats had kept releasing the grant to Jagmohan Sharma even after IAS officer Wazeer Singh Goyat, HCS officers Sanjiv Sharma and Mukesh Ahuja exposed irregularities in the implementation of MGNREGA scheme. According to the report, the bureaucrats released grant of Rs 25 crore to Jagmohan Sharma without administrative and technical approval.
The investigators claimed that the grant was allocated despite non-completion of the related data and it not being made available online. Apart from these, according to report, the monthly report was being received by the bureaucrats and work was not being done as per the scheme when the grant was allocated to Sharma.