BHUBANESWAR: Chairperson of Odisha Lokayukta Justice Ajit Singh on Monday expressed strong displeasure on the government for not submitting a detailed report on the circumstances which led to the removal of a senior IAS officer from the supervision of procurement of PPE kits and masks for tackling the Covid-19 pandemic in the State.
The Lokayukta had asked Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy to submit all documents pertaining to the procurement of PPE kits and other Covid-19 items and sought a reply on the circumstances in which the chairman of the emergency purchase committe was hastily relieved from his post.Two senior IAS officers on Monday appeared before the Lokayukta for hearing in connection with the alleged corruption in the purchase of PPE kits and masks.
The next hearing on the matter has been posted to December 7. The Lokayukta has asked both the parties, the government as well as the petitioners, to come with all the relevant documents for the next hearing. Congress leader Sudarsan Das and Odisha Vikash Parishad had filed petitions before the Lokayukta alleging large scale irregularities and corruption in the purchase of PPEs and masks by the State government for dealing with the Covid-19 situation in the State.
It is for the third time that both the senior officials appeared before the Lokayukta in connection with alleged irregularities in the procurement of PPE kits in Odisha. The two officers had initially failed to respond to the notice by Lokayukta on August 11 to submit their replies. Later, the anti-corruption ombudsman had warned that it will proceed with the investigation if they did not appear during the next hearing on September 14. Both the officials had appeared before the Lokayukta on September 14 and November 4.