The Madhya Pradesh government has come under the scanner of Lokayukta for allegedly organising a free dinner for about 250 serving IAS officers with taxpayers’ money. Official sources said about Rs 1.5 lakh was allegedly routed from the exchequer’s account to foot the bill of the dinner hosted late last year by State Chief Secretary Avani Vaish for IAS officers, most of them serving in MP, at a private club here.
The dinner, under the aegis of IAS officers Association Service meet (a private amalgam), was organised on October 8 last year. The ‘felicitation’ has now come under the lens of MP Lokayukta and an investigation into the matter launched.
“We have received the complaint and currently looking into it,” an officer in Lokayukta said.
Ajay Dubey, member of global anti-graft organisation Transparency International said, “It is a sheer violation of government norms.
How can the government pay the bill of a private body (IAS association)? The Chief Secretary has misused his official position to organise this dinner and ensure its payment from the government’s border”.
However, officials here said that the dinner was purely a government affair and no rules were violated.
“It was a government function. We were asked by the General Administration Department to pay the bill. All necessary sanctions were accorded by the senior officials,” said Sanjay Mishra, State Protocol Officer.