Chhattisgarh government gives approval for prosecution of two IAS officers
RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh government
on Monday gave its approval for the prosecution of two Indian Administrative
Service (IAS) officers, for their alleged role in the Public Distribution
System (PDS) scam, on the charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy under the
provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988.
“The state government
has accorded sanction for prosecution of the two IAS officers Dr Alok Shukla
and Anil Tuteja under IPC section 109 for abetment, 120 (b) for criminal
conspiracy, 420 cheating and section 409 criminal breach of trust by public
servant. Sanction for prosecution was granted under section 19 of Prevention of
Corruption Act 1988 after the recommendation was sent to the government of
India. Power for granting sanction for prosecution vests with the centre,” a
government spokesman said.
Virendra Pandey, who was earlier a member of the BJP, had moved the Apex Court
seeking a court monitored probe into the PDS scam. “The Supreme Court today
adjourned the hearing for a further date for want of submission of few more
documents,” Pandey said.
Bureau (ACB) had earlier sent notices to senior IAS officers Dr Alok Shukla and
Anil Tuteja for their alleged role in the PDS rice scam. While Shukla was the
food secretary, Tuteja headed the Civil Supplies Corporation Limited when the
ACB raided its offices across the state and unearthed the scam. At present,
Shukla is Principal Secretary Health and Tuteja heads the Panchayat department.
The allegations against
both the IAS officers are that they were among those top government
functionaries who had figured as alleged scam beneficiaries in documents
recovered from Tuteja’s PA Girish Sharma. The ACB had earlier said that the
corporation allowed rice millers to supply poor quality PDS rice to the
government and received massive commission for them. This commission was then
distributed through the entire hierarchy of the government functionaries.
While the ACB had
swiftly named and arrested junior employees, senior officers remained elusive,
promoting Congress to accuse the BJP government of shielding political bigwigs
and top bureaucrats in the PDS scam. The Opposition Congress had also stepped
up pressure on the Raman Singh government demanding a CBI probe into the scam,
alleging that state level investigating agencies cannot do a fair probe.
Raids by the state’s
anti-corruption bureau (ACB) in March at the offices of Civil Supplies
Corporation and the recovery of cash worth Rs 4-crore in the drawers of the ‘babus’
exposed the massive corruption in the scheme. The latter were caught in the
process of distributing and forwarding the parcels of the ‘monthly’ shares to a
list of names, believed to be that of the beneficiaries. The recovered diaries
and pen drives included names of the top officials and politicians.