Probe demanded into malpractices in Finance Dept

Probe demanded into malpractices in Finance Dept

MP Nalin Kumar Kateel and Mangaluru North MLA Dr Y Bharath Shetty have urged the state government to initiate a probe into the kickbacks received by the Finance Department of the government for releasing funds to gram panchayats.

Addressing mediapersons at the district BJP office on Tuesday, Kateel said that Mangaluru Taluk Panchayat Executive Officer In-charge Sadananda had openly admitted to kickbacks to the Department to get funds sanctioned.

Bharat Shetty had called on Sadananda at the Taluk Panchayat office on September 15 to inquire about the non-release of funds for gram panchayats in his constituency. A PDO had been forced to pay a bribe to move a file in his jurisdiction.

When the MLA raised issue, Sadananda had reportedly stated that the PDOs must pay as per the demands placed by the Finance Department. The statement, justifying the kickback, was video recorded. The incident took place in the presence of the Taluk Panchayat president.

Following the same, Shetty spoke to the Zilla Panchayat CEO and the deputy commissioner, demanding appropriate action.

Kateel questioned the relevance of having Sadananda as an in-charge officer in Mangaluru Taluk Panchayat for the last two years. He pointed out that Class II officers cannot be deputed as in-charge for more than four months.

The MP asked why the chief minister, deputy chief minister and the district in-charge minister are maintaining silence over the issue. He said that a separate committee should be constituted to probe into the matter as the Finance Department functions under the chief minister. The inquiry should be taken up without any delay.

Kateel stated, "The behaviour of the executive officer in-charge is evidence to the fact that the chief minister and other ministers do not have any control over the affairs of the state. The state is run by corrupt officials and middlemen.” He added that the concerned member of the Assembly would raise the issue on the floor of the house in the upcoming session.

Zilla Panchayat President Meenakshi Shantigodu, Vice President Kasturi Panja and ZP Social justice standing committee president Janardana Gowda were present at the press meet.

Sadananda relieved as TP EO

On failing to furnish proper explanation in answer to the show-cause notice issued by the Zilla Panchayat CEO on September 17, Taluk Panchayat Executive Officer In-charge Sadananda has been relieved from the post with immediate effect, as per a letter served by the ZP CEO on September 18.

Sadananda will continue as Taluk Panchayat Assistant Director.

The charge of the EO has been handed over to Panchayat Raj Engineering subdivision Assistant Executive Engineer A Sujanchandra Rao.

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