One and a half years after it started an official probe against an IAS officer over involvement in misuse of NREGS funds, Orissa government has closed disciplinary proceedings.
In October 2012, Mrinalini Darswal, a 2002-batch officer of Orissa cadre and now special commissioner (Trade and Taxes), GNCT, New Delhi, was charged with misuse of NREGS funds during her tenure as collector of Nuapada district. The general administration department had then asked her why no action should be taken against her.
But the department in a notification 12 days ago, closed the proceedings after “careful consideration of the inquiry report” submitted by the panchayatiraj department. The exact reason of closure of the proceedings are not yet known. The state had alleged that Darswal while working as Nuapada collector had diverted Rs 2.53 lakh for landscaping and gardening on her residential premises. A CBI probe also revealed that the sum was spent for the landscaping work.
In January 2008, assistant soil conservation officer of Nuapada had moved a proposal for development of garden in Darswal’s house. On the margin of the letter, Darswal had ordered that the expenses would be met under NREGS contigency fund.
However, the dealing clerk put up a note explaining that it was not permissible under NREGS norms.
When Darswal came to know that the expenses were not in confirmation with norms, she passed another order to recoup the same out of Backward Region Grant Fund, committing another irregularity.