Haryana govt imposes rs 2l penalty on ex-cs

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Old 17-Mar-2011
Haryana govt imposes rs 2l penalty on ex-cs

Chandigarh March 17:

The Haryana government has imposed a penalty of around Rs 2 lakh on former chief secretary Prem Prashant for wrongly claiming travel allowance during his tenure as parttime member of the state administrative reforms commission.

The state government's decision comes following reports that all the commission members indulged in one irregularity or the other during their tenure at the commission. Sources said that total recovery due against Prem Prashant was Rs 1.40 lakh for claiming travel allowance bills wrongly and Rs 39,000 for engaging a driver, which he was not supposed to do as a part-time member of the commission.

Prem Prashant had claimed TA bills whenever he travelled from his house in Agra to attend commission meetings in Delhi or Chandigarh. Sources said that as per the terms and conditions of Prem Prashant's appointment with the commission, he was entitled to monthly honorarium and sitting fee of Rs 600 per day. However his TA claims and engagement of driver for attending meetings was not only wrong but against the rules, sources added.

A notice for recovering the amount has been issued to Prem Prashant and in case he failed to pay up, the amount could be deducted from his pension, according to sources. The government has also terminated the commission by refusing to give it any further extension following a recent letter written to chief secretary Urvashi Gulati by director of social justice and empowerment department Ashok Khemka. Khemka in his letter has demanded that all the commission members should be shown the door.

The commission was set up in December 2008 and given an extension of three months in December last year which ended on March 12. The commission members spent over Rs 2 crore in two years and three months but the total output was almost zero, sources claimed. In over two years, the commission submitted just two reports, which were dumped by the government, and hardly any worthwhile recommendations were made by the commission. Though the government has imposed a penalty against Prashant, however, it has failed to take any action against other members who also allegedly had indulged in financial irregularities.

Along with Prashant, there were three other members of the commission namely RP Lather, retired IAS officer DR Dhingra and DR Chaudhary. As per Khemka's letter to the chief secretary, Prashant and other commission members including Dhingra, Chaudhary, and Lather made fake internet and phone bill claims.

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