In a recent turn of events at the Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation, the suspended Deputy Commissioner Ganesh Patil has been exonerated of charges related to a tax scandal, and his suspension has been lifted. Patil has been reinstated to his position following an investigation by the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) headquarters.
The controversy unfolded in July within the ‘C’ division of the Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation, where an immediate inquiry revealed that the then Tax Superintendent Arun Jani and Revenue Officer Niyati Kudu had failed to deposit citizens’ tax payments into the bank, keeping the funds only in paper records. Allegations of embezzlement of lakhs of rupees surfaced in the aftermath. Subsequently, Arun L. Jani was promptly suspended pending further investigation, while Deputy Commissioner Ganesh Patil faced suspension with a show-cause notice citing the reason for his involvement.
To ensure a fair and impartial examination of the tax scandal, the Municipal Corporation established a five-member Audit Committee under the leadership of Chief Auditor Milind Patil. According to the committee’s financial report, the Chief Auditor and Finance Officer promptly submitted their statements to the auditors. However, no evidence of Ganesh Patil’s direct involvement in the malpractice was found during the departmental investigation, leading to the revocation of his suspension.
In a significant development, Patil has now been assigned responsibilities in the Anti-Encroachment Unit (headquarters) without any connection to the tax scandal. This move comes after four months of his suspension, during which time Patil maintained his innocence and awaited a chance to resume his important duties.
Speaking about the ordeal, Ganesh Patil expressed his relief, stating, “I have been suspended for four months without any concrete evidence linking me to the incident. Now, with my reinstatement, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in a crucial position once again.”
The tax scandal investigation, which originally cast a shadow over the Deputy Commissioner, has now taken a new turn. With the suspension lifted and no substantial evidence against Patil, the Municipal Corporation is working towards restoring normalcy within its administrative ranks.
Milind Patil, the Chief Auditor, emphasized the importance of conducting a thorough and unbiased investigation to maintain transparency and uphold the integrity of the Municipal Corporation. He stated, “Our committee worked diligently to examine all aspects of the case, and we are pleased that justice has been served. The reinstatement of Deputy Commissioner Ganesh Patil is a testament to the fairness of our inquiry.”
As the Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation moves forward, it remains committed to addressing issues promptly and ensuring the proper functioning of its administrative machinery. The recent events underscore the significance of maintaining trust and accountability within municipal governance, as the municipality strives to fulfill its responsibilities to the public.