Deccan Chronicle

Allegations aimed at maligning me: V Saroja

Deccan Chronicle | DC Correspondent

Published on: May 17, 2017 | Updated on: May 17, 2017

Minister denies Raja Meenakshi's claim of asking bribe for transfer.

V. Saroja

V. Saroja

Chennai: State social welfare minister V. Saroja refuted allegations of graft heaped upon her by the department official and claimed this was done to "divert attention" from a complaint of financial irregularities against the official and also to "malign" her.

The minister also denied J. Raja Meenakshi's claim that she had summoned the official to her house to discuss her transfer to Chennai. In a statement here on Tuesday, Ms Saroja explained that on March 1, 2017, Dharmapuri probation officer wrote to the district collector, accusing Meenakshi of forging bills to embezzle money from the funds allotted for child welfare programmes. A revenue official asked to probe into the matter summoned Meenakshi and the probation officer, as well, to appear for a hearing on April 21.

However, while the probation officer turned up, Meenakshi had sought postponement of the hearing, citing health condition and stated that she was scheduled to be admitted to a Chennai hospital, the minister said.

As a result, the hearing was postponed and she was asked to appear on June 8 with relevant medical certificates. But on May 7, Meenakshi called on her at Chennai and sought her services to be regularised and also urged for transfer. Meenakshi herself was aware that no rule permitted absorption of a temporary staff in that post and therefore she told her it was not possible to consider the case, Ms Saroja informed.

"Meeting the minister concerned without submitting her pleas to the district collector or the department commissioner or secretary made it amply clear that it was meant to malign my reputation," Ms Saroja said. "Hence, with the intention of diverting attention from the probe into embezzlement charges against her and to malign me, she willfully made false accusations at the instigation of somebody. All the charges are contrary to facts," the minister said.

Meenakshi was appointed as District Child Welfare Officer in September 2016, following a transparent recruitment system after advertising in newspapers, Ms Saroja added.

On May 11, Meenakshi filed a complaint with city police alleging that the minister had demanded Rs 20 lakh to effect her transfer to Chennai. She claimed that she had already paid Rs 10 lakh to the minister to allow her to "continue in her job."

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