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Former Tripura chief secretary held in PWD scam, state employees upset
Former chief secretary of Tripura and chairman of Tripura Public Service Commission (TPSC) Yash Pal Singh was arrested on February 17 in a joint operation of Uttar Pradesh Police and Tripura police from Ghaziabad in connection with alleged PWD scam of Rs 164 crore during 2008-09.
Singh, known to be an honest and dedicated officer had retired in 2016, was absconding for the last four months after the state vigilance authority registered an FIR against him and former PWD minister of Left Front government Badal Chowdhury and chief engineer Sunil Bhowmik.
Bhowmik was arrested immediately after the FIR and Choudhury was arrested about a week later from a hospital.
However, both of them were released on bail after three months from police custody.
Police have not been able to file a charge sheet against the accused in the court.
Singh’s counsel had prayed for an anticipatory bail in the high court but the court rejected the pleas every time. Singh was absconding from his house in North Delhi since October 14 last year.
Additional Director General (Crime Branch) Puneet Rastogi said YP Singh was arrested from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh in a joint operation based on a secret input and a team has left for Delhi to transport him to Tripura.
He was produced in a court in Ghaziabad for custody warrant and possibly he will be transited to Agartala and produced in the trial court, he said.
After serving as chief secretary, the Left Front government had appointed him as the chairman of TPSC where he had developed differences with Chief Minister’s Office in the later stage.
Allegedly, his junior and Principal Secretary to CM Kumar Alok had tried to persuade him to resign from the post quoting chief minister’s name, but he had refused which had widened the rift further. Later on, he was accused in a decade-old alleged PWD scam.
Meanwhile, Singh’s arrest has upset the state administration and triggered an adverse reaction among the officers. Officials in Agartala claimed that YP Singh was framed by a vested quarter to take revenge for disobeying the powerful lobby of the BJP-IPFT government as two other former chief secretaries, Shashi Prakash and Sanjib Ranjan, had also been accused of the alleged procedural lapses but their names disappeared from the investigation.
While Shashi Prakash has retired, Sanjib Ranjan is still serving as secretary to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).
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