The Central Information Commission has asked the Department of Space to make public details of investigation against officials who have allegedly misused their Leave Travel Concession which was pointed out the CVC.
It was admitted by the Department of Space (DoS) that several cases from its Bangalore office have come to its knowledge after cross-verification from Air India where employees had allegedly made false claims against their LTC facility.
During the hearing, the DoS stated that it had received a complaint from the CVC in 2011 regarding irregularities in respect of LTCs availed of by its officials and misuse of this facility.
“They wrote a letter to all the ISRO centres to check the LTC records wef September, 2008 and take action in those cases where false LTC claims had been made. Subsequently, 444 cases in respect of the Bangalore office were identified for verification through Air India,” Information Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal said.
The case relates to one Sunil Kumar N K of ISRO who sought the information about alleged misuse of LTC by the employees of the premier organisation since 2008. The information was denied to him citing exemption clause permitting the exclusion of such information from disclosure.
“Out of the above 444 cases, verification report was received in the past from Air India in 386 cases and after checking the records, recovery was ordered from six officials. A second report has been received from Air India in respect of the remaining cases and is being examined,” he said.
Pulling up the Department of Space for casual approach in completing investigation, Sabharwal said, “While disposing of this matter, we cannot help observing that even though a complaint was made in this regard nearly five years ago in 2011, the Respondents are yet to complete the verification process and order recovery in all the cases, where it is due.”
“In our view, the very purpose of investigations into such matters is defeated if the investigation process continues indefinitely. Therefore, we would strongly advise the Respondents (ISRO/Department of Space) to expedite the investigation process and place the relevant details of the same in the public domain,” he said.
He ordered ISRO and DoS to disclose details of the investigation conducted and action taken by the them so far in the matter along with names and designation of the officials from whom recovery has been ordered, the amount of recovery ordered in each case and the current status of the recovery in each case.