New Delhi: Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena has recommended the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to take action against IAS officer Udit Prakash Rai for allegedly accepting Rs 50 lakh bribe to grant “undue favours” to an executive engineer in two corruption cases, LG office sources said on Wednesday.
Rai is currently posted as a special secretary in the health and family welfare department of the Delhi government. There was no immediate reaction available from Rai on the issue.
The sources said Rai, during his tenure as the vice chairman of Delhi Agricultural Marketing Board (DAMB), “virtually let off” executive engineer P S Meena in two disproportionate asset cases — one involving Meena’s son and the other involving his wife.
They said Saxena also authorised the chief secretary for setting aside the “punishment of censure” in these cases against Meena and ensure appropriate punishment.
The sources said Saxena has recommended action against Rai, a 2007-batch IAS officer of the AGMUT cadre, for indulging in “misconduct” while performing official duty.
“The LG has made this recommendation to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on the basis of substantiated recommendation made by the CBI in a matter where Udit Prakash allegedly took a bribe of Rs 50 lakh for extending undue favours to an executive engineer, P S Meena, in DAMB, by diluting punishment against him in two cases of corruption,” one of the sources said.
A complaint in this regard was lodged with the Home Ministry on February 10, 2020.
According to the sources, in the first case against Meena, the inquiry report submitted by a retired IAS officer on January 29, 2021 had recommended “major penalty/dismissal from service” as per the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) guidelines.
“Rai issued the censure in unreasonable haste on the last day of his posting as VC, DAMB. Further, the punishment of censure was also not dispatched to the persons/officials to whom it was endorsed which resulted in the same not even being mentioned in the service book of P S Meena,” the source said.
The sources added that in the second case involving Meena’s wife, an inquiry was ordered by the earlier VC of DAMB, but Rai, without conducting any inquiry, ordered “punishment of censure” against Meena clubbing it with the first case and noted that the “two cases were similar”.
Rai did not even issue a formal order in this case separately, the sources alleged.
The CBI has also recorded these “deliberate lapses” by Rai in a letter written to the then Chief Secretary Vijay Dev on September 15, 2021.
“Finding these deliberate lapses and undue favours a fit case of corruption, the LG has recommended the MHA to take necessary action against Udit Prakash Rai,” the source said.
Rai has also served as CEO of the Delhi Jal Board.