Panchayat Raj Engg Dept to probe worker's forged papers

3 decades into service, Panchayat Raj Engineering Dept to probe forged documents of engineer

Sources said that there is a lack of clarity on how the engineer was hired by the Department in the first place

Representative image. Credit: iStock photo

The Panchayat Raj Engineering Department is probing the case of one Prabhakar P M, who served in various capacities at the Panchayat Raj Engineering Department for close to three decades allegedly without the required engineering qualification.

A red flag was raised in the Department after the accused submitted his service records earlier this year for an audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General.

According to Chief Engineer of the Department, Vijayakumar Chavadannavar, preliminary probe has hinted that the accused forged documents to claim that he had completed his engineering degree from Chhattisgarh University to serve in the Department.

Sources said that there is a lack of clarity on how he was hired by the Department in the first place, adding that a detailed probe was essential to unearth all those involved.

A complaint was filed against Prabhakar on July 22 by the Office of Superintending Engineer, Panchayat Raj Engineering Department, after discrepancies were seen in the service records submitted by him earlier this year.

According to the complaint, accessed by DH, Prabhakar was appointed junior engineer along with one B Raghuram Shetty on May 7, 1991. In 2008, Shetty was promoted as Assistant Executive Engineer, while Prabhakar remained in the same position. In the same year, Prabhakar sought advice from Shetty about completing an engineering degree through distance education. This has raised suspicions among his colleagues about his qualifications.

In 2010, the Department sought an explanation from him on why he had not sought promotion since 2004-05. Prabhakar attributed it to the delay exercised by the varsity in providing the certificate, adding that it was issued only in 2009.

However, his service records submitted in January this year were tampered with. The records claimed that he had completed his engineering in 2004, while the certificate submitted by Prabhakar to the Department showed that he passed out in 2005. This went against the claim made by him in 2010 that he had not sought promotion as he was awaiting his certificates.

Speaking to DH, Vijayakumar said that prima-facie, documents appear to have been forged. “Preliminary inquiry is under progress. Based on its findings, a departmental inquiry will be initiated,”he said.

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