Wednesday 29 June 2022
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Sharada Subramaniam dismissed from service on corruption charges

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), in line with its policy of zero tolerance against corruption, has dismissed principal director Sharada Subramaniam for irregularities allegedly committed by her 17 years ago when she was on deputation at the Coffee Board of India as director of finance, three officials said, requesting anonymity.

One of the officials working at the office of the CAG, the government auditor, said: “While is very particular about the conduct of its officials, technically the dismissal of the principal director was effected by an order of the President of India.”

On 19 May, Union finance ministry gave a nod to the for the dismissal of 1991-batch Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IA&AS) officer Sharada Subramaniam. The ministry upheld Union Public Service Commission’s advice of imposing “major penalty” for her alleged grave misconduct of indulging in corruption, aware CAG sources said on the conditions of anonymity.

The senior auditor had submitted a 250 page representation to the on 7 November, last year, to counter serious charges brought out against her in the UPSC report, which was shared with her so that she could defend herself against them, an officer of constitutionally empowered watchdog pointed out.

Sharada Subramaniam denied the charge

Subramaniam, a 1991 batch Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IA&AS) official, denied the charge which, she said, was baseless because of two prime reasons — “non-availability of old files, and no single penny was diverted into any individual or personal account”.

“It is not necessary that an action taken by the government is a gospel truth. I have moved CAT and am awaiting justice,” she said.

A second official, who also works in the ’s office, said, “She was dismissed from service immediately after the finance ministry gave its approval in May this year.”

Email queries sent to CAG and the ministry of finance did not elicit any response.

Report published in media on 6 September, 2017, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) the principal director for allegedly diverting funds of the Coffee Board during her posting there.

It said, quoting the first information report (FIR) filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation, that Subramaniam was charged with allegedly diverting Rs 16.2 crore of the Coffee Board funds into mutual funds, causing a loss of Rs 53.3 lakh to the organisation and corresponding gain to herself during her posting as its director, finance. The case pertained to the period between 1998 and 2003.

Subramaniam on Monday said, “No single officer could take such a financial decision alone. All decisions pertaining to financial matters were taken collectively and with complete knowledge of my superiors. No money is traced to any personal or individual account. Entire money remains with the government. I have been framed for some notional loss…Truth will come out if relevant documents are produced.”

A third official, working at the finance ministry, said, “The action has been taken after a thorough investigation on this matter.”

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