Deadline for trident probe

The high court on Friday set a deadline for the civic body to complete its probe into the alleged role of a former engineer, whose retirement dues have been withheld, in the trident scam.

Gautam Pattanayak, a former director-general (lighting) who had retired on December 31, moved court on February 6 to get his post-retirement dues.

In his petition, he said the mayor had signed a file on January 1 last year recommending emergency installation of trident lights and hence, the electrical department had completed the work within two months.

"The municipal commissioner is being directed to complete within three weeks the investigation into the alleged irregularities committed by the petitioner with regard to the installation of trident lamps and if needed, give hearing to Pattanayak within another week," said Justice Jayanta Biswas in his order.

Following reports by an auditing firm and a former chief municipal auditor, the civic authorities at a meeting on Wednesday had decided to slap a show-cause notice on Pattanayak and withhold his retirement benefits. The engineer's last assignment was with the Calcutta Environment Improvement Project.

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