In an embarrassment to Chandigarh Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shayin, Home Secretary Anil Kumar has rejected his appeal to review his own order, recommending a vigilance probe into functioning of committees constituted by the deputy commissioner to assess market fee evasion by two firms at the Sector 26 Grain Market.
Confirming the development, Kumar said, “I had passed the order that a vigilance probe should be conducted in the case. I cannot review this order. If someone has a problem, they can move the higher authority.’’
The Deputy Commissioner, who is also secretary of the State Agriculture Marketing Board, had on August 20 passed an order suspending the licences of two firms, namely Mahajan Fruit Company and Mahajan Trading Company, both owned by Dinesh Mahajan, for a period of six months for evasion of market fee.
Mahajan then appealed to the Home Secretary who quashed the secretary’s decision and ordered restoration of the licences.
In his order, the Home Secretary noted that there was a big difference in the market fee assessments made by two inspection teams constituted by the secretary. “Which one of the two assessments is correct needs to be found out. For this, an inquiry needs to be conducted by the Vigilance Department,” said the order.
The DC had constituted a committee to detect evasion of market fee by Mahajan. The committee assessed the evasion at Rs 25.59 lakh. Mahajan challenged the constitution of this committee. Another committee was then constituted which assessed the evasion at Rs 2.87 lakh.
It was this wide difference between the two assessments into which the Home Secretary recommended a vigilance probe. He noted that the due process was not followed and a notice not given to Mahajan before suspending his licences.
Earlier also, orders issued by the DC have been quashed by his superiors. Around two months back, the DC had ordered sealing of booths in Sector 41, but the order was quashed by the Finance Secretary. Another order of the DC to seal commercial buildings was stayed by the Finance Secretary who then issued detailed guidelines for the Estate Office for conducting checks.