Sources in the LG’s office said 2007-batch AGMUT cadre IAS officer Udit Prakash, then vice-chairman of Delhi Agricultural Marketing Board, allegedly took the money to dilute the punishment faced by a DAMB executive engineer in two cases of corruption involving his son and wife and virtually let him off.
The LG’s action, said officials, came on the basis of a “substantiated recommendation made by the CBI” while investigating a complaint against Prakash, currently posted as special secretary in the health and family welfare department of the Delhi government.
Telephone calls and messages sent to Prakash for a reaction remained unanswered.
According to officials, an inquiry report submitted by a retired IAS officer on January 29, 2021, had recommended “major penalty/dismissal from service” against the said engineer, as per the central vigilance commission guidelines.
Sources, however, said that Prakash issued the “censure” in an “unreasonable haste” on the last day of his posting as VC, DAMB, even as his transfer orders had been issued on February 24, 2021. “The punishment of censure was also not dispatched to the persons/officials to whom it was endorsed, which resulted in the same not even being mentioned in the service book of the said executive engineer,” said a source.
Officials added that in the second case of disproportionate assets involving the engineer’s wife, an inquiry was ordered by a former DAMB vice chairman. “But Prakash, without conducting any inquiry, ordered the punishment of censure clubbing it with the first case and noted that the two cases were similar. Prakash did not even issue a formal order in this case separately,” said a source.
Officials said that the CBI recorded these “deliberate lapses” by Udit Prakash in a letter written to the then chief secretary Vijay Dev on September 15, 2021.
Finding these “deliberate lapses” and “undue favours” a fit case of corruption, the LG has recommended the MHA to take necessary action against Udit Prakash, sources said. “The LG has also authorised the chief secretary for setting-aside the punishment of censure in these cases against the engineer and ensuring appropriate punishment,” said an official.