Orissa IPS officer under scanner over enrolling home guardshttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/orissa-ips-officer-under-scanner-over-enrolling-home-guards/

Orissa IPS officer under scanner over enrolling home guards

Letter to state Home Secy says it was done without approval,seeks action

A 2002-BATCH IPS officer of Orissa cadre,who last year headed the state’s elite anti-Maoist strike force Special Operations Group,is under scanner for enrolling 36 home guards in 2010 and 2011,allegedly without approval of his superiors and unauthorisedly sanctioning Rs 57.79 lakh as their allowances.

Amitendra Nath Sinha,now serving as the Rourkela SP,had enrolled the 36 as home guards when he was the Cuttack DCP-cum-Commandant of Home Guards,allegedly in violation of established rules and procedures. In a letter to the state Home Secretary in May last year,Commandant General-cum-DG of Home Guards B K Behera had proposed disciplinary action against Sinha as the latter did not have any authority of enrolling home guards of a district.

“As per section 39(i) of Orissa Home Guards Act,1961,the commandant Home Guard of a district does not have authority to enrol home guards and this can be done only with the approval of the Commandant General which is strictly binding…. Sri A N Sinha did not even bother to intimate the Commandant General about the series of appointments made by him,let alone seek approval which is mandatory as per law,” Behera’s letter said. “Besides,he has also not bothered to respond to letters asking him to explain such irregular appointments which are prima-facie illegal,done with malafide motive and constitute acts of grave financial irregularity.”

“Since he has been given adequate opportunity over the past nine months to explain his conduct and has refused to do so,his continued disregard of authority in the face of overt illegal acts and financial irregularities have left no choice other than propose initiation of departmental proceedings against him,” the letter said.

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Quoting the letter,the home department last week sent a letter to DGP Prakash Mishra,seeking his view on initiation of disciplinary proceedings against Sinha.

The DG Home Guards even attached the draft memorandum,article of charge,statement of imputation and memo of evidence in his letter,seeking action against Sinha as per All India Service Rules,1969. In the draft Article of Charge,Sinha’s action was deemed as “malafide,irresponsible and deliberately dismissive of his superior authorities”.

Sinha rubbished the allegations,saying he was not “facing any inquiry”. “I have done nothing wrong. There has been absolutely no charges against me whatsoever. I have not received any letter from the government on this. The sanction of the government for enrolment of home guards was sought and it was sanctioned. It’s wrong to say that I did not take permission. Sir (Commandant General) made different interpretation,” said Sinha.

DGP Mishra said that the Commandant General of Home Guards is not authorised to initiate proceedings. “There is no such move to take action against the SP,” he said.