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Corruption charge on six IAS officers

Bhubaneswar, April 6: Six IAS officers are among those who have been named in a petition for causing a loss of more than Rs 27 crore to the Odisha State Beverage Corporation (OSBC) and the state excise department while serving as chairman, managing director and commissioner of the corporation and the excise department during their tenures.

Former excise superintendent Subarna Naik has filed a petition in the court of special judge, vigilance, Bhubaneswar, against seven bureaucrats for showing undue favour to 19 private companies while they were holding various positions in the state excise department and the Odisha State Beverage Corporation, causing loss of Rs 27.64 crore to the government. The court has admitted the petition and will hear the matter tomorrow.

Of the seven officials, six are IAS officers and one is an Odisha Administrative Service (OAS) officer. Among the IAS officers, five have retired and some of them are currently placed as heads of various government organisations. Two of the retired IAS officers have served as chief secretary of the state.

Naik, who also served as general manager (technical) at the state beverage corporation from 2000 to 2002, alleged that during 2002 to 2003, 2003 to 2004 and from 2004 to 2005 these public servants dishonestly and intentionally caused losses to the state government by refunding Rs 16.64 crore, which had previously been realised as dues from private companies. This money had been kept in the bank accounts of the beverage corporation.

The petitioner said he came to know about the irregularities from the profit and loss accounts and balance sheets of the beverage corporation published during these periods. In the annual reports of OSBC for 2000 to 2001 and 2001 to 2002, it was found that Rs 16.50 crore had been realised from sales proceeds of liquor suppliers. However, the amount was illegally refunded to liquor suppliers between 2003 and 2004 and from 2004 to 2005. In 2003, Rs 14 lakh was refunded to a particular liquor company.

Naik also alleged in his petition that from 2001 to 2002 these public servants caused a loss of another Rs 11 crore to the government by short printing and short supplying around 92 per cent of excise adhesive labels against the requirement of 12 crore.

From 2001 to 2002, there was a need of 12 crore excise adhesives which had to be supplied to the OSBC along with excise passes to liquor manufacturers. But the then excise secretary printed only one crore adhesive labels, the petition said.