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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Delhi LG recommends action against IAS officer for extending undue favour

Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena has recommended action against Udit Prakash Rai, IAS, AGMUT 2007, for indulging in ‘misconduct’ while performing his official duties.

The LG has made this recommendation to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on the basis of a substantiated recommendation made by the CBI in a matter where Udit Prakash allegedly took a bribe of Rs 50 lakh for extending ‘undue favours’ to an executive engineer PS Meena in the Delhi Agricultural Marketing Board (DAMB), by diluting the punishment against him in two cases of corruption.

A complaint in this regard was lodged with the MHA by one JS Sharma on 10.02.2020. As per the report, Udit Prakash, who was then the Vice Chairman of DAMB, virtually let off the accused engineer PS Meena in two disproportionate assets cases — one involving Meena’s son and the other involving his wife.

“In the first case, the inquiry report submitted by a retired IAS officer on January 29, 2021, had recommended a ‘major penalty or dismissal from service’ against Meena, as per the CVC guidelines. What’s appalling is that Udit Prakash issued the “censure” in “unreasonable haste” on the last day of his posting as VC, DAMB, even as his transfer orders to DSFMC had been issued on 24/02/2021. Interestingly, PS Meena had also submitted his reply the same day, i.e. on 24/02/2021. Further, the punishment of censure was also not dispatched to the persons/officials to whom it was endorsed which resulted in the same not even being mentioned in the service book of PS Meena”, said a source at the LG’s office.

Also, in the second case of disproportionate assets involving Meena’s wife, an inquiry was ordered by the earlier VC of DAMB, but Udit Prakash, without conducting any inquiry in this case, ordered ‘punishment of censure’ against Meena clubbing it with the first case and noted that the ‘two cases were similar’. Prakash did not even issue a formal order in this case separately, as per the source.

The CBI has also recorded these ‘deliberate lapses’ by Udit Prakash in a letter written to the then Chief Secretary Vijay Dev on 15/09/2021.

Finding these ‘deliberate lapses’ and ‘undue favours’ a fit case of corruption, the LG has recommended to the MHA to take necessary action against Udit Prakash. The LG has also authorized the Chief Secretary to set aside the ‘punishment of censure’ in these cases against Meena and ensure appropriate punishment.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)

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