Dead engineer served with show-cause notice

Rs 9,000 cut from his pension for not responding to memo

In February 2007, an inquiry was ordered to look into cost escalations and‘misappropriations’ in a lift irrigation project in Gulbarga.

Five years later, on December 8, 2012, as many as 11 engineers who were accused of wrongdoing were exonerated by a retired sessions court judge who headed the inquiry.

However, one of them, V D Pujari, a junior engineer who died during the course of the inquiry, was held responsible for misappropriations and the Irrigation department authorised a deduction of Rs 9,118 from his pension.

Their reason for this:  Pujari, who was issued a show-cause notice had not respond. In truth, he had actually passed away some time before.

Scapegoat

Incidentally, Pujari was posted to the said post after the alleged ‘misappropriation’ toaok place, sources in the department said.

“The inquiry officer, after conducting a probe under Section (5) of the Karnataka Public Service rules, said that none of the allegations against any of the officials has been proved,” the department said in its order dated December 8.

But even before the inquiry could be completed, on August 29, 2009, a decision was taken to deduct Rs 9,118 from Pujari’s pension for the alleged losses caused by him 2007.

According to sources, Pujari’s predecessor had not recorded the reserve amount of Rs 9,118, which is mandated after the State releases money through a Letter of Credit.

In the said case, the contractor had not submitted the bills for Rs 9,118 and hence the money should have been recorded as reserve amount.

Pujari re-recorded the same amount under the measurement books, creating an impression that he had caused a loss of Rs 9,118.

Meanwhile, the department has reinstated only three of the remaining 10 officials who were exonerated. According to sources, the three engineers, who were reinstated, have allegedly bribed top officials to retain their postings.

While two of the engineers are due for a promotion, the service of the third official is in the process of being regularised as he was on contract with the department since 1985, sources said

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