Telangana

‘No action being against officials charged with duping government’

The Forum for Good Governance has sought Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan’s intervention in asking the government to take quick action into a case where the government was duped to the tune of ₹500 crore.

In a memorandum submitted to the Governor, Forum secretary M. Padmanabha Reddy said few officials of the Commercial Taxes department hatched a criminal conspiracy along with contractors and duped the government to the tune of ₹500 crore. Taking advantage of a judgement of a court case unrelated to the matter, the officials returned ₹500 crore VAT collected during the years 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Reacting to the adverse reports on the return of the money, the then government had ordered an inquiry by the Vigilance and Enforcement Director-General. The inquiry confirmed that the amount was returned to the contractors with a malafide intention and the DG specifically mentioned few officials and requested for immediate action into the issue.

The government should have placed the identified officials under suspension and initiated criminal prosecution against them on receipt of information. But there was no concrete action except for routine correspondence for two years. The Revenue department in the Secretariat, in a bid to protect those involved, delayed in taking action.

The accused officials approached the Tribunal and then the High Court after the article of charges was served and the case was pending since last four years. “It is pointed out that the loss of ₹500 crore is not a notional loss. The amount was drawn from the bank and returned to the contractors,” the memorandum said adding the DG confirmed the loss after a detailed inquiry.

Mr. Padmanabha Reddy alleged that there was a reason to believe that the Revenue department in the secretariat was also a beneficiary of the ₹500 crore “loot” going by the way the department was handling the case. “We made representation to Chief Secretary to take steps to expedite the case, but there is no response. The Revenue department is intentionally not pursuing the case,” he alleged requesting the Governor to intervene in the matter.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 12:09:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/no-action-being-against-officials-charged-with-duping-government/article33601682.ece

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