The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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IAS officer indicted for funds fraud

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 25: A senior IAS officer of the Orissa cadre has been found guilty of depositing funds belonging to a state-owned corporation in a private bank, flouting rules and official directives.

Fixing responsibility for the irregularities in the financial accounts of the Orissa State Beverage Corporation, an Assembly committee said P.C. Mishra, a former chairman-cum-managing director of the government undertaking, had “deliberately ignored” the instructions of the excise secretary and deposited funds in Vysya Bank.

The inquiry team, headed by excise minister Ananda Acharya, yesterday submitted its interim report to the Speaker.

The interim report advised the state government against posting the senior IAS officer, now the commissioner and secretary of higher education, in any revenue-earning department.

“He violated Article 40 of the Articles of Association of OSBC by opening an account in Vysya Bank. When the government asked him to withdraw the money from the term-deposit account, he challenged it. We recommend that the loss to the government exchequer on account of this should be realised from the officer,” the report said.

Acharya informed the Assembly that the committee would require some more time to complete its investigation into the unauthorised printing of liquor-bottle labels. Several Opposition leaders, including Ramakrushna Patnaik, have accused chief minister Naveen Patnaik of taking a Rs 100-crore bribe from a liquor baron.

On the illegal deposit of OSBC funds in Vysya Bank, Congress legislator Santosh Singh Saluja said Mishra should be placed under suspension immediately for such a serious offence.

Another charge against the IAS officer is purchasing computers for OSBC at prices much higher than prevailing market rates and arbitrarily appointing staff.

Anti-ad campaign: Over 20 legislators of Orissa have jointly appealed to information and broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj to ban the advertisement of condoms and other contraceptives on television.

The legislators are from the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Congress, BJP and Biju Janata Dal. “Though AIDS is a dreadful disease and using condoms can prevent it, the way these are advertised is distasteful,” the petitioners, most of whom are women, said.

Praising Swaraj for her campaign against obscenity in films, the MLAs said products should be advertised “in a manner that does not hurt people’s sensibilities”.

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