Patna, March 16: Rohtas district magistrate (DM) Sandeep Kumar Pudakalkatti had a first-hand experience of the functioning of government offices and also of manipulation of test reports issued by state-run hospitals in Bihar.
Pudakalkatti, an IAS officer of the 2006 batch, was surprised to find three employees of the district collectorate, Ashok Kumar Rai, Anil Kumar Sinha and Sanjay Kumar Singh, drinking alcohol in the office at Sasaram during duty hours on March 13. Subsequently, the DM, who is a qualified doctor from Bangalore-based MS Ramaiah Medical College, asked a police personnel deployed at his office to take the trio to the Sadar hospital for breathalyser test.
The district magistrate was shocked to see the test reports provided by a doctor of the Sasaram Sadar hospital on March 15. The reports suggested that the employees brought to the hospital for breath analyser test were “not drunk as no alcohol was found”.
The DM could not believe that the doctor, who examined the trio could send such a wrong report to the authorities concerned, apparently to shield the employees.
Pudakalkatti issued a showcause notice to the three employees and the hospital doctor, Bharat Kumar Singh, for sending the wrong report to the former’s office.
“How can I believe the findings of the test reports that suggest that they were not drunk? I had caught them red-handed and also seized a few bottles of liquor,” he told The Telegraph over the phone on Saturday.
Irked by the callous attitude of the doctor, the DM ordered to repatriate him to his previous place of posting at Dawath, about 55km north of Sasaram, the district headquarters of Rohtas. Dr Singh, who was appointed on contract basis a few years ago, was on deputation at Sasaram Sadar hospital, sources said.
They added that Pudakalkatti swung into action soon after being tipped off about “illegal activities” in the room on the first floor of the three-storeyed building of the district collectorate. The employees, said to be clerks in the DM’s office, were caught unawares and were subsequently produced before the district chief who immediately sent them to the hospital for breathalyser test.
Some employees apprised the DM that such practice was regular in the office. The group used to consume alcohol of their choice after work was over. But on March 13, the trio started drinking during office hours, leaving other colleagues bewildered.
“Such indiscipline is quite intolerable. This is against the state service code of conduct,” he said, adding that such misconduct invited harsher punishment for the offenders.
Pudakalkatti was shifted to Rohtas from Kishanganj on January 17, 2013.