Missing files dealt with action against 30 IAS, PCS officers

Punjab secretariat Inquiry finds former undersecretary guilty.

The 35 crucial files that went missing from the Punjab civil secretariat included, among others, inquiry reports and complaints that dealt with the cases of former Ludhiana deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar, former MD of Punjab Agro, Himmat Singh, and Patiala former divisional commissioner C S Srivastava.

Gurjar, who is facing a Vigilance inquiry, had hit headlines in 2008 following allegations of corruption in the distribution of cracker stalls in Ludhiana. Himmat Singh, on the other hand, is facing charges for his alleged involvement in the citrus council scam and Srivastva is facing charges in a case related to the employment of a naib tehsildar and his alleged role in sale of shamlat land in Chandigarh's periphery.

All the 35 missing files contained complaints, inquires and chargesheets against nearly 30 Punjab IAS and PCS officers, which were pending action. (see box)

A departmental inquiry conducted by former IAS officer J P S Puri into how these sensitive files went missing has found a former undersecretary of the department "guilty" of losing the files with "malafide intentions" and for "extraneous considerations".

The report, which was submitted to Chief Secretary Rakesh Singh, on Monday, stated that the undersecretary Yog Raj Sharma has not been able to explain where 28 of these 35 files vanished after these were sent to him. Puri has also hinted that there were specific motives behind Sharma's actions. Puri, however, has not made any reference to a possible role played by the accused officers in the undersecretary losing these files.

While many of these files contained serious complaints against these officers, some files were dealing with cases where the officers had already been chargesheeted. In many cases, the files contained the inquiry reports against these officers following complaints.

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