THE Allahabad High Court has asked the chief secretary to file a fresh affidavit explaining as to how tool kits for technicians, worth Rs 800 per unit, were being bought by the District Urban Development Agency (DUDA) at a cost of Rs 3,000 per unit, from another government agency, namely Uttar Pradesh Small Industries Corporation (UPSIC) Limited. The court also directed the chief secretary to complete the inquiry into the involvement of the officers of highest level at the two agencies within two weeks.
A division bench of Justices Arun Tandon and Shashi Kant passed the order in this regard on September 7, while hearing a petition filed by Akhilesh Chandra Tiwari, the project officer in the DUDA (Bareilly) before being transferred to Mau. Tiwari was suspended for “buying tool kits at Rs 3,000 per unit from UPSIC for use in Bareilly” when the actual cost of each tool kit was only Rs 800. The government had recommended registering an FIR in the case.
Tiwari approached the high court on the ground that the purchase of tool kits — to be given to various technicians and fitters — was made under orders from the top officials and his suspension was discriminatory, as similar purchases were made across the state.
During the last hearing, the court had directed the chief secretary to file an affidavit explaining the action taken against the top officials, including director, state urban development agency (SUDA), and chairman, DUDA, besides officials of UPSIC.
“The chief secretary may file a better affidavit…so that this court may ascertain up to what level the officers were involved in public money being wasted,” the court order read.
The court also noted: “The director, SUDA, has…admitted that the tool kit was (for) Rs 1,474 whereas payment was Rs 3,000 in Mau. Reports received from Bareilly and other districts established that the kits were of below standard. It has also been revealed that the actual cost of the toolkit was Rs 800.”
The court further noted: “In the affidavit filed by the area manager…it is prima facie established that the supplies were received and distributed under orders of the chairman, DUDA.”