In its recent report, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has pulled up the army authorities in Pune for their failure to stop the unauthorised usage of defence assets. The report points out that the eight defence establishments in Pune were being used by the Army Public School (APS) in contravention to the guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
According to the report 16 of CAG about Indian Defence and Army for 2012-13, the scales of accommodation for defence services do not permit provision of government-owned buildings for running educational institutes by private agencies.
The report says that the Army Public School, which is run by the Army Welfare Education Society (AWES), is an institution which cannot be run from buildings owned by the defence authorities and doing so is in contravention to the laws mentioned above.
The report states that observing the re-approbation of the defence building for educational institutes run by the AWES, the ministry of defence had issued instructions in October 2000 and October 2001 asking for local commanders to stop such institutes from functioning.
The instructions so issued state that misuse of delegated power would attract disciplinary action and the Military Engineer Services (MES) is also not to incur any expenditure, from public funds, on defence buildings occupied by the APS or other educational institutes run by AWES.
In their test check, the CAG had found that the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of Indian Army’s Southern Command in Pune had issued sanctions in January 2008 and March 2008 for undertaking special repairs at eight defence buildings. The total repair work was executed at a cost of Rs83.52 lakh. “The sanction did not mention that the buildings were in use by the APS,” the report pointed out.
Frowning upon the continued usage of defence buildings by the APS, the CAG report stated, “The occupancy of the school building by the APS/AWES continues to remain unauthorised and sanctions and executions of special repairs on these buildings are also irregular.”
The CAG states that the case was referred to the ministry in April 2012, but its reply was awaited till July 2012. Defence PRO Colonel J Dhayia said that the ministry was yet to receive the CAG report. “We will issue an official communiqué only after we receive the report,” he said.