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‘Tainted’ officer may become Haryana’s chief engineer
CHANDIGARH, Dec 28 (Agencies):
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Published on 28 Dec. 2010 10:58 PM IST
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An officer, who has faced 34 chargesheets and three vigilance inquiries, is set to become the chief engineer of Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board.
Keeping in view the adverse remarks against him by a Panipat court and pendency of a case in Punjab and Haryana High Court, the government has sought comments from the advocate general on his promotion. However, superintending engineer RD Pundir claimed that he has been exonerated of all charges and no inquiry is pending against him.
Pundir is the acting chief engineer of the board since October 5 following the retirement of Ashok Kumar Gupta. In fact, after conducting an inquiry into a case of 1993, the vigilance department had recommended recovery of Rs 1.5 lakh losses on account of use of water and electricity of marketing board by contractors for some construction for Pundir and other officers. Then, the state vigilance bureau had registered an FIR against them but did not file a chargesheet against the officer as the allegation could not be proved.
However, in 2006, a special judge of Panipat court asked the state chief secretary to probe the role of the investigating officer of the bureau and to prosecute Pundir. Next year, in a separate case of corruption, the judge recommended a CBI probe to determine the role of Pundir when the vigilance bureau did not file any challan, terming him innocent in a case pertaining to his demanding Rs 10,000 as illegal gratification from a contractor.
The high court, however, stayed the operation of the remarks of Panipat judge, when Pundir challenged the verdict of lower court. In the third case, vigilance bureau closed the file against him after initially finding excess payment of Rs 2.69 lakh to a road contractor. The details of the 34 chargesheets giving details of allegations of financial irregularities and lapses against Pundir was obtained through an RTI query. Pundir was warned in some cases while his increment was stopped in another pertaining to irregularities in road repair. Financial commissioner of the department Roshan Lal only said they were awaiting the advocate general’s opinion.
RD Pundir said he has been victimized for years and now efforts were afoot to stop his promotion to the post of chief engineer. ‘’My juniors were elevated as superintending engineers long time back, but I was ignored for a decade just because of some minor punishment for procedural lapses,” he said.

 
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