Former director of cinchona held over misappropriation of assets
Darjeeling: A former head of the directorate of cinchona and other medicinal plants has been arrested for alleged irregularities at the largest public sector unit in the Hills under the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).
G C Subba, the 65-year-old former director, is in CID custody after being arrested on Tuesday for alleged irregularities amounting to Rs 17.15 crore. "Subba is being interrogated. We hope to get important leads that could lead to others who are involved in the scam. In this case, there were multiple instances where Subba claims to have acted under verbal orders from his superiors that resulted in the scam," claimed a CID source. An FIR by the present director, Samuel Rai, led to Subba's arrest. "He has been charged under sections of the IPC, including criminal breach of trust. The CID had asked for 14 days of remand. However, the Chief Judicial Magistrate remanded him to police custody for 10 days," stated Pankaj Prasad, Assistant Public Prosecutor, Darjeeling. The cinchona plantation is the largest public sector unit in the Hills of Darjeeling and Kalimpong district. It is spread over an area of 26,000 hectares and employs as many as 6,000 workers.
The irregularities include VAT deposits, handing over bank accounts to the present director after his retirement in December 2013, anomalies in making payments, issuing supply orders, tender allotment, records, and work distribution.
There are instances of self-withdrawal of Rs 92 lakh and non-deposit of nearly Rs 3 crore.