Lahore: Official’s name in roll of ‘dishonour’
LAHORE: A City District Government of Lahore employee has allegedly embezzled salaries of his subordinate working on contract when he (the latter) was serving a jail term. He also misappropriated salaries of other employees and amassed millions through other sources, Dawn learnt it on authority.
The corruption was unearthed by Executive District Officer (Finance) Moazzam Sipra and District Officer (Public Health) Dr Tariq Ramzan after they conducted a preliminary inquiry into the allegations levelled against Chief Malaria Inspector (CMI) Arshad Farooq.
Sources said the inquiry officers had declared the CMI guilty and recommended action against him under the Punjab Employees Efficiency and Discipline Act (PEEDA).
The inquiry report made available to Dawn reveals that the CMI showed anti-malaria baildar Azhar Ali Shah present on duty for nearly three years (2007 to 2009) while he (Azhar Shah) was in jail in a criminal case No146/2007 registered against him at the Hasan Abdal police station.
CMI Farooq, the immediate boss of Azhar Shah, continued to receive/embezzle his salary during the aforementioned period, the report said. The CMI also brought Azhar Shah back on duty after he was released from jail.
Similarly, the CMI was found to be involved in showing another baildar, Asif Raza, (actually a tailor) as present on duty and misappropriated his monthly pay for years, said the report.
It further claimed that the accused had been involved in receiving bribe on a monthly basis for some years from 13 other baildars in exchange of allowing them to do personal work instead of official duty and report to the office whenever called by the management.
The baildars are: Dilawar Hussain, Ghulam Hussain, Mirza Ayub, Asghar Ali, Allah Ditta, Bashir Ahmad, Mehmood Hameed Butt, Muhammad Jamil, Mushtaq Masih, George Masih, Riasat Ali, Qasim Nawaz and Ghulam Mustafa.
In addition, there were around 50 baildars who continued to draw their salaries for years without performing job in connivance with the accused, according to the report.
Arshad Farooq, the report said, also claimed a payment of Rs29,960 for performing flood duty in DG-Khan last year despite the fact he never performed duty. “Mr Farooq has also been found guilty of misappropriating funds (allocated for petrol/diesel during malaria campaigns) besides selling anti-malaria insecticides to private firms.”
The report revealed that the accused had been promoted from BPS-8 (Malaria Inspector) to BPS-16 (CMI) in a single move in 2010 by the then district officer (public health), Shahid Ikram, and EDO (health) Dr Fayyaz Ahmad Ranjha.
The allegations were proved after the inquiry officers conducted an in-depth probe through recording of statements (both in audio and written forms) and collection of other necessary documentary record, read the report.
It has recommended action not only under PEEDA but also a judicial inquiry against the accused under the anti-corruption laws.
Sources said the sitting district officer (health) had initiated proceedings under PEEDA and demanded a judicial action against the CMI from the Anti-Corruption Establishment.
Arshad Farooq denied the allegations when Dawn contacted him. “It is a sort of misunderstanding and nothing more. And during departmental inquiry I had already rejected the evidence presented by the witnesses to trap me,” he said.
He said the inquiry officers had believed in hearsay evidence rather than collecting any solid proof to prove him guilty. He said he had neither got illegal promotion nor did he receive a penny from any of the baildars.