BHOPAL: In a case exposing the state government’s  claim of zero tolerance to corruption, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan reportedly pardoned a state administration service officer Arun Kumar Tomar, against whom Lokayukta organisation had recommended departmental inquiry.

Transparency International member Ajay Dubey, who brought to light the case, said, “The government has decided to pardon Tomar in the case in which he was accused of committing grave financial irregularities, putting aside the Lokayukta organisation’s recommendation and technical committee’s report. It is surprising and puts a question mark on the government’s claim for zero tolerance to corruption.”

Tomar, who was CEO of Kolaras Janpad Panchayat CEO in Shivpuri district in 1994-95, was charged with committing grave financial irregularities and corruption in construction of two stop dams.  The Lokayukta Organisation recommended departmental inquiry against him after probe year long probe, Dubey said.

The Government only served a show cause notice to him and disposed of the matter in 2011 without departmental inquiry, inviting objection from the Lokayukta organisation. The objection forced the State government to defer its decision.  The government then constituted a technical committee of panchayat and rural development department’s engineers and that too found him guilty.

Putting aside committee’s report, General Administration Department (GAD), only issued a letter condemning him and sent the case for opinion of the MPPSC, recruiting agency.  The MPPSC however, returned the matter, with its opinion that condemnation is not sufficient punishment in the corruption case.

“Surprisingly, in January 2014, chief minister Shivraj Singh finally pardoned him using his administrative power.  The case is finally pending for a formal approval of the committee headed by the chief minister himself for disposal of cases related with Lokayukta organisation and corruption,” Dubey said.

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