This is a summary, offered without comment, of a bit of news in the Sunday Times of India, June 5 2005.
Bhupati Prasad Pandey is Maharashtra's energy and environment secretary. According to records and documents in the possession of the Times, he has five official cars and four cellphones.
Two cars are from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB); the energy department, the environment department and the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) contribute one each. Three of his cellphones are from the MPCB, the fourth from MSEB.
Last month, the environment department bought a Honda City. Pandey allotted it to himself. One week later, he wrote to the MPCB to say the car should be equipped with a DVD and CD player, two reading lamps and a detachable magnetic red lamp. Price for these accessories: Rs 87,950. He had earlier asked for one of his MPCB cars to also be fitted with accessories. An MPCB official refused to allow payment for these; Pandey, in his capacity as the acting chairman of MPCB, overruled the official and made the payment.
In June last year, the MPCB gave Pandey a cellphone worth Rs 9959. The next month, he demanded and got from MPCB another cellphone, worth Rs 42,000. In January this year, MPCB gave him a third cellphone, this one worth Rs 41,359. MPCB has also spent Rs 3947 on repairing Pandey's personal cellphone.
Pandey told the Times that all this "is an attempt to defame me."
No, I do have a comment. I am reminded of this that I wrote a few days ago.