Millennium Post

Ministry yet to order probe

Defence ministry is yet to institute an inquiry in the case of alleged misappropriation of funds in the directorate general of resettlement (DGR) under the department of ex-servicemen’s welfare. The allegations that have been doing the rounds for some time have been collated and a public interest litigation (PIL) filed in the Delhi High Court.

Defence secretary, RK Mathur told Millennium Post on Tuesday, ‘It is now with the court. We shall follow whatever order it issues (about inquiring into the case).’ An earlier inquiry had led to no action against the perpetrators of the corrupt act but instead, had laid down certain guidelines that were to be followed.
The PIL that has been filed has recorded the names of four directors general, Major General VS Budhwar, Major General KS Sindhu, Major General Harwant Krishan and Major General SG Chatterji, under whose supervision money has been misappropriated by former army officers through fictitious entries of ‘phantom’ soldiers; appropriating two-thirds of the salaries of the Persons Below Officer Ranks (PBORs) who were given jobs with coal loading agencies, private security agencies and toll plaza managements etc.
The petition details those activities that have been ongoing since 2005, for eight years. But the lawyers who are the plaintiffs, claim these could have been going on from even before that.

They have made the cabinet secretary, Ajit Seth, defence secretary, RK Mathur, secretary of the department of economic affairs, Arvind Mayaram, labour and employment Secretary, Mrtyunjay Sarangi and current director general of resettlement, Pramod Behl.

Attempts to speak to at least one of the former DGRs charged failed, even as through the day there was no response to the defence ministry or even the officials of the Indian Army, which is one among the major stakeholders in the resettlement process, was not showing interest in the case as it maintained that the DGR came under the charge of the ministry.

With the defence secretary taking a position that the ministry will be guided by the court directives, the chances of a through probe seems likely. It would then reflect how far the rot has affected. 
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