A Sikh Li Colonel posted in RR faced Court of Inquiry, found guilty of misappropriation of regimental funds, but Inquiry Board gets a call, allegedly, asking them to acquit officer with just soft administrative action, instead of disciplinary or even tough adminsitrative (like court martial).Officer let off. It may be noted that Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh is also from Sikh Light Infantry.
This is about regimental funds allocation to units for their day-to-day necessary expenditure. The officer in question is Col A.L Maini, earlier posted in 19 RR and now in IMA, Dehradun, as battalion Commander.
In 19 RR, under Victor Force, Maini underwent a court of inquiry (CoI) for alleged bungling/mishandling/misappropriation of funds, nearing approximately Rs 1 crore (this is annual regimental fund allotted, for day to day administration).
The officer was in 19 RR from September 18, 2010 till August 2013. The CoI comprised three officers and was in progress in November 2013, as the officer was about to leave for his next place of posting- IMA Dehradun.Col L. Singh has taken over from him., and has to somehow now compensate the loss. Govt-read country; tax payers will now pay for this loss. Allegedly, no breifing was given to the new Commanding Officer, who took over.
Findings of the CoI are :
1. Expended money beyond his powers, without sanction.
2. Timelines not adhered to.
3. Illegally directed his Subedar Major to collect cash.
4. Roughly Rs 35 lakh spent but not paid.
5. Handled finances all by himself, accounts officer not in picture.
6. Unauthorised cash collected as loan and given to Maini , from civil contractors.
7. Bungling in transportation funds also.
CoI Ruled :
1.Non adherence to laid down procedures.
2. Accepting cash from civilian contractors in contravention to orders and procedures on management of public funds and not clearing it before relinquishing Command.
3. Not making timely payments.
4. Wrongfully instructing the Subedar Major to destroy a record of financial transactions by burning.
Just when CoI was about to rule court martial and imprisonment, a phone call stopped everything mid-way.
Recommendations Made :
1. Administrative action be taken.
2. Clear pending payments -- (The money gone , wont be recovered)
3. Additional funds be made available to meet the remainder of the year requirements -- (means extra load on exchequer)
"Its common practice, each year each unit gets allotted funds, all of which may not be used, example transportation funds ( to the tune of 30-40 lakh), bungling takes place at every level"