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Chandigarh Police suffered loss of Rs 3.75 crore when it deputed personnel on RBI duty: Audit

Auditors raise objection over outstanding payment of Rs 4.10 cr to various companies.

The Audit department has raised strong objections over the loss of Rs 3.75 crore which the Chandigarh Police suffered while providing police escort to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) between 2018-19, terming it non-compliance with Punjab Police Rules (PPRs), 1934. The department raised objections over the outstanding payment of Rs 4.10 crore to various companies by the Chandigarh Police. The payments were made in the financial years 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.

The Chandigarh Police has been asked to make its position clear on these objections.

The audit personnel slammed the police department for not making RBI consider the five-hour duty of a single cop as one day but allowing the central bank to consider eight hours as one day. The audit department concluded that it caused a total loss of Rs 3,74,61,662 to the police department.

According to the sub-rule (2) of Rule 2.13, if the duty (of a cop) lasts more than five hours per day or four hours per night, relief will be provided and double rates will be charged.

A source said, “The intensive audit of the manpower suggests that RBI was taking the duty of UT cops to be eight hours, more than five hours in day and four hours in night, but counting the period as one day instead of double. As per the Punjab Police Rules, Chandigarh Police is bound to provide additional police force for the maintenance of order and security of property. Different criteria are being followed for charging money for providing the service of cops on the basis of ranks. Rs 550 is for the one-day service of a constable. The charges are between Rs 550 and Rs 2100.”

RBI’s regional headquarters is situated in Sector 17. Chandigarh Police personnel are deputed from time to time for the safe movement of cash-loaded vans from one place to another linked with RBI. Officers from the rank of constable to Inspector are put on duty with RBI.

On the issue of outstanding release of Rs 4.10 crore to different firms and companies, which were engaged for providing different equipment, dresses and machineries, the audit department maintains that the UT Police department has not followed the laid guidelines.

The outstanding of Rs 4,10,12,217 in the last three financial years raised eyebrows.

SP (headquarters) Manoj Kumar Meena said, “These objections are being reviewed seriously by the police department. We have taken up the objection related to Rs 3.74 crore on the part of RBI with Punjab Police through UT Administration. As we are following PPRs, 1934, we want to check with Punjab Police about their criteria of charging money for providing the manpower. The issue of outstanding release of Rs 4.10 crore is also being reviewed. We will submit our replies before the audit department.”

The audit of 2018-19 of Chandigarh Police was completed in October 2020. It was hit by COVID-19 pandemic. The audit of 2019-20 is underway.

More than 15 lakh empty cartridges lying in armoury

The audit department concludes that 15,05,860 empty cartridges of various weapons, including AK-47, SLR, .9mm pistol, Sniper 7.62MM, 380 Blank, INSAS 5.56MM, and 303 Blank, have been lying in ammunition department of UT Police for the last many years.

The bullets were fired by thousands of police personnel during the weapon training and firing drills.

The audit department says over time, the value of empty cartridges will further deteriorate, which would result in loss to the government on account of revenue receipt.

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