Officer fakes bills in the name of flower show

Had pocketed lakhs, officer now in Nanjangud

In what appears to be a case of fence eating the crop, an officer attached to the department of Horticulture has pocketed lakhs of rupees in the name of flower show that remains only on papers.

The startling revelation, in the form of details obtained under right to information (RTI) Act, has caught the department off-guard.

The officer in question is senior assistant director Sudheendra Kumar who is said to have created fake bills to pocket funds to the tune of Rs eight lakh. However, much before the irregularities came to light, he had been transferred to Nanjangud in Mysuru district, where he is serving at present.

No sooner the irregularities came to light, deputy director B R Girish has served notice to the said officer, besides recommending for disciplinary action, after his successor and senior assistant director of Horticulture department K P Devakki wrote to higher ups in this regard.

Event not conducted
It is said that Kumar had prepared fake bills towards various expenditure of flower show, though the event had not been conducted during the year 2014-15 and 2015-16.

For the year 2014-15, the officerhad claimed bills to the tune of Rs 3,99,631 that included expenditure of Rs 99,981 towards buying flowering plants, Rs 49,250 for prizes and badges, Rs 40,000 for fruits and vegetables, Rs 99,650 for arrangement of ornamental plants, Rs 50,750 for buying seeds of ornamental plants and Rs 60,000 for illumination.

For the year 2015-16, he had claimed bills for Rs 4,09,434 including Rs 59,995 for seeds of ornamental plants and plastic trays, Rs 99,983 for ornamental plants, Rs 39,990 for flower pots and Rs 99,975 for arranging floral artecrafts.

An officer said the irregularities may not have come to light, but for the efforts of Devakki who gleaned records in this regard.

Bills put on hold
Deputy Director Girish said that the flower show of the year 2013-14 was conducted in 2015-16.

However, the bills have been cleared for the year 2014-15, while the cheque towards clearance of bills for 2015-16 has been received and put on hold, following the irregularities.

Deputy Commissioner Richard Vincent D’Souza said that he was not aware of the issue. He further said that he will react after collecting information on the same on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the leaders of several organisations have demanded for a comprehensive probe into the case, as the officials had turned down the demand for the show, citing lack of funds.
 

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