Report on flood relief fund diversion submitted to Kozhikode District Collector

An investigation report on suspected irregularities in the distribution of flood relief funds has been submitted to the District Collector. The report by two senior government officials found that ₹53 lakh allotted to help the victims of the 2018 floods had been diverted to other accounts with the support of a Revenue Department officer, who was later suspended based on a preliminary investigation report.

The investigation carried out by a senior finance officer and a Deputy Collector also recorded the details of nine illegal fund transfers made by the suspended officer, who was junior superintendent at the Collectorate, to the personal bank accounts of his relatives. According to the report, he alone allegedly transferred a sum of ₹97,600 to multiple accounts.

Though the illegally transferred funds had been recovered from the personal accounts, the investigation panel recommended serious department-level action against the officer and others suspected of colluding with him to divert funds. The report also looked into the suspicious delay in the distribution of relief funds worth ₹1.17 crore.

According to official sources, the enrolment of ineligible candidates for the funds was also investigated. It was found that many illegal beneficiaries whose names were not on the lists submitted by village officers had secured the one-time assistance of ₹10,000. A thorough re-investigation into the particulars of such fund transfers and the eligibility of beneficiaries could be ordered based on the latest report, they said.

It was during the audit of the Finance Department on July 6, 2021 that the diversion of funds and the delayed distribution of sanctioned funds were confirmed. The suspected officer was suspended by the District Collector on July 27.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 9:23:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/report-on-flood-relief-fund-diversion-submitted-to-kozhikode-district-collector/article36651830.ece

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