The Audit department discovered that Union Public Service Commission officials were being questioned on numerous fronts. In an RTI report sought by R K Garg of Chandigarh, it is revealed in that the institute that vouches to give the best bureaucrats to the nation is drowned in profundity in a well of corruption, or one may say, manipulation. This audit report is from the year 2019–2021 in which various heads are financially audited by the department, and hence innumerable flaws are raised by the audit department and UPSC was unable to give clarity to the office of the Director General of Audit.
The report reveals that the UPSC formulated a policy approved vide Note F No A-41020/07/2017-Admin- I dated March 22, 2016 for the engagement of the consultant at various levels. During the scrutiny of records related to the appointment of consultants, it was noticed that there was only one vacancy in the posts of Joint Secretary and Deputy Secretary-Cadre but 10 consultants were in the position against these posts and each consultant was getting fees of Rs 50000 per month. This resulted in excess expenditure amounting to Rs 54 lakh annually. The matter may be examined holistically and taken up with the controlling authority.
The UPSC officials did not stop here in misusing their position. UPSC officials are in the habit of using public money for their personal use. The staff cars are used for their picnic. As per Report Rule, No. 21 & 22 of the Staff Car Rules, they contain detailed instructions regarding control of “staff cars, the kind of journeys for which staff cars are intended to be used, the journeys for which the use of staff cars is totally prohibited, and the kind of non-duty journeys for which staff cars can be used on a payment basis. Rule 18 stipulates that the use of staff cars is not permissible for journeys to places of entertainment, public amusements, parties, pleasure trips, etc. Further, if staff cars are used for touring purposes and diversions from the normal route of such authorised journeys, charges for the extra mileage involved are recoverable from the officer concerned.
The Audit department examined the staff car files and log books of Staff Car No.DL 2C BB 5952, which travelled to the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Administration Academy (LBSNAA), Mussoorie, Uttarakhand from 10.03.2021 to 14.03.2021 to familiarise with the training programs. It was noticed that besides this, the staff car was also used for private purposes to visit Kempty Falls, horse riding polo ground, Lal Tibba & Market area, Bhutta Falls and sight-scene, Dhanaulti Hills and sight-visit, Landor Market area. The staff cars ran 1099 kilometres in total, including official purposes and for these above-mentioned sight visits. During the test check of the log book of Staff Car No.DL 2C BB 5952, it was also noticed that the staff car was used on holidays, i.e., Saturday and Sunday, for a private visit to Jaypee Greens Golf Course and DILF Golf Course Gurugram on 06.03.2021, 07.03.2021 (256 km daily total 512 km), and on 27.02.2021 and 28.02.2021 (180 km daily total 360 km).
The audit report also revealed that the UPSC paid extra TDS, avoided GeM competition, split the items while purchasing, and also paid Rs. 25000 to the Supreme Court Counsel, whereas as per rules, only Rs. 9000 is to be paid to the Counsel. In total, the report shows that UPSC officials are manipulating figures, using public money for their personal use and also using it to oblige their aquaintances.
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No terror link found in murder of dg prisons
On Wednesday, Additional Director General of Police Mukesh Singh stated that no terror link has been discovered during the investigation into the death of Director General (DG) of Prisons HK Lohia.
HK Lohia was found dead under suspicious circumstances in a house in the Udaywala area of Jammu on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday, and the police had arrested the suspected accused, Yasir Ahmed, in his killing. Ahmed was the househelp of DG prisons who had been working at Lohia’s house for nearly six months, and he was reported as “quite aggressive” and “under depression” as per some documentary evidence that was seized by the police reflecting his mental state.
“In the initial investigation into the incident of Lohia’s death, it has come to fore that one domestic helper, Yasir Ahmed, resident of Ramban, is the main accused,” ADGP Mukesh Singh informed on Tuesday, adding that the CCTV footage collected from the incident spot showed him running after committing the crime.
“The interrogation with the accused is still underway. His disclosures in the matter are being corroborated by the field investigation,” Singh said, adding that accused Ahmed has confessed to his crime.
Woman arrested for duping people of over Rs 1 cr in kitty scheme
The Economic Offences Wing of Delhi Police has arrested a woman for allegedly duping her neighbours of over Rs 1 crore by running a kitty and inducing them to invest money to get high returns in a short period of time.
The accused has been identified as Sarla Garg (52), a resident of Delhi’s Dwarka who used to operate kitty parties in her society. It has been alleged that the accused has duped more than 25 people by inducing them to get high returns in a shorter period of time.
A case was registered against the accused on the joint complaints of 28 people under sections 406, 420, 120(B) and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
The complaints alleged that the accused used to run a kitty scheme from her residence and had collected about Rs 1.01 crore from the victims.
“She had promised to return the matured amount within 15 months, but even after passing of the maturity period, she neither returned the principal amount nor paid any profit to the investors. After a few months, Sarla along with her family members left her address and shifted to some other unknown place,” the victims had alleged.
The accused used her WhatsApp mobile number to chat with the victims and send the kitten scheme messages.
Delhi Police arrests two more PFI members
The Delhi Police have arrested two more members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for alleged involvement in plotting and conspiring against the government and the country.
The case was registered at Khajuri Khas police station in the North district on Tuesday. “Two PFI members namely Ansar Ali and Muhammad Samun have been arrested and were booked under sections 120(b), 153(a) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 10/13 of UAPA,” the police said.
The Delhi Police on Monday arrested four members of the PFI under UAPA, marking the first arrests after the central government banned the organisation on 28 September.
The arrested persons were Mohammad Shoaib, Habib Asgar Jamali, Abdul Rabb, and Warish.
“The police got information that some suspicious activities were being carried out from these offices of the Popular Front of India. Then the police investigated three places and seized the property. Ministry of Home Affairs and Delhi Police were continuously monitoring the situation,” the police said.
Police had registered a case against PFI under UAPA at Shaheen Bagh police station on 29 September,after which action was taken against the properties of PFI under Section-8 of UAPA.
Mundka fire case: Building owner moves petition denying default bail
The building owner accused in Delhi’s Mundka fire case has moved a revision petition challenging an order denying default bail to him by a trial court. The petitioner moved the application seeking bail over the non-filing of the charge sheet in the case. The application was dismissed by the court.
Additional Sessions Judge Hem Raj of Tees Hazari Court listed the petition for further hearing on September 13 after hearing the initial arguments. Manish Lakra has moved the petition through advocates Pradeep Kumar Arya and Kapil Dhaka, challenging the order of the Magistrate Court passed on August 6, 2022, denying bail to him.
This case pertains to a fire incident in the Mundka area on May 13 in which 27 people were killed. An FIR was registered on May 14, 2022, under sections 308/304/120B/34 IPC, at the Police Station, Mundka. The petitioner was arrested on May 15, 2022, and was produced before the court the next day. Thereafter, he was sent to judicial custody. In these circumstances, the petitioner has been under custody since May 15, 2022, i.e., around 80 days, the petition stated.
The counsel for the accused, Manish, submitted that in view of the investigations, only one offence u/s 304 Part II is alleged to be made out against the petitioner and, in view of the mandate of section 167 CrPC, the period of completion of investigation and filling of charge sheet is 60 days if the accused is in custody. Thereafter, according to Section 167 (2) CrPC, the accused is entitled to be released on bail.
It is also submitted that the right of default bail, which is enshrined u/s 167 CrPC, is the fundamental and foundational right of the accused as identified under the criminal jurisprudence of the land.
Army court martial recommends sacking of NCO for harassment
Taking swift and strong action, an Army Court Martial has recommended dismissal from service and a one-year jail term for a non-commissioned officer (NCO) found guilty of sexually harassing a female Captain.
The incident took place last year when the lady officer had come to Sikkim for a river rafting course in the 17th Mountain Division area where she was staying in official accommodation. In the court martial convened by the 17 Mountain Division in Sikkim, the Havildar has been accused of using criminal force while attempting to outrage the modesty of the female officer belonging to the Military Nursing Service, Army officials said here.
The second charge against the NCO was that after forcefully entering the room of the officer, he made “sexually coloured” remarks, they said.
Once the incident happened, the lady officer managed to escape from the room and complained to the authorities there about the incident.
The Army authorities acted swiftly and the NCO was put through a trial process where he was found guilty.
The court martial took place in the 617 EME battalion in Sikkim and the jawan was recommended to face a one-year jail term along with dismissal from service last week.
The President Officer in the case was Lt Col Deepak Shahi, while the prosecution counsel was lawyer Akshit Anand.
The Indian Army has been very strict in cases of moral turpitude and financial misappropriation. In the last few years, several officers and men have been dismissed from service in these cases.
Congress fumes after losing IT committee, says BJP’s step ‘draconian’
Deputy Leader of the INC in the Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi on Tuesday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) steps are “draconian” after Congress lost its chairmanship of the parliamentary committee on IT.
He alleged that the BJP is building the foundation of a surveillance state where citizens’ rights are subjugated and institutional checks are obliterated. “A draconian step by the BJP. It seems like Prime Minister Modi is fascinated by Chinese single-party rule and the Russian oligarchy model. He is building the foundation of a surveillance state where citizens’ rights are subjugated and institutional checks are obliterated,” tweeted Gogoi.
A major reshuffle took place in the parliamentary panels on Tuesday as Congress lost the Home and the crucial Information Technology and Communications panels, among others.
According to an official notification, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who headed the Home panel, was replaced by BJP Rajya Sabha MP and former DGP of Uttar Pradesh Brij Lal, who has been named as the new chair.
Another loss for the grand old party is losing the committee on IT, which was chaired by Lok Sabha MP Dr Shashi Tharoor. The Eknath Shinde-led faction of Shiv Sena now has its chairman in three-time Lok Sabha MP Prataprao Jadhav.
The Congress party currently controls the Standing Committee on Environment and Forests. Jairam Ramesh remains as its chairman.
Professor Ram Gopal Yadav from the Samajwadi party, who had been holding the post for a long time as chairman of the Health Committee, has been replaced by BJP MP Bhubaneshwar Kalita.
It will be the loss of a committee for DMK as the party has the chairmanship of the Industry Committee with Tiruchi Siva as chief.
YSR Congress, which previously had Commerce, has swapped for the large Transport, Tourism, and Aviation Committee, which is led by Vijaysai Reddy.
The panel on education, women, children, youth and sports will now be chaired by BJP MP Vivek Thakur after its earlier chairman, Dr Vinay Shahastrabuddhe, retired.
Senior Member of Parliament Jagdambika Pal is now the Chairman of the Energy Panel, whereas the JDU leader, Lallan Singh, will head Urban Development.
The Trinamool Congress, which had one chairman in LokSabha MP SudipBandyopadhyay, will no longer have one.
Several vacancies were created in various committees in addition to the ending of the terms of the standing committee.
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