Indian Ambassador to Austria, Ms Renu Pall has been recalled to India by the Ministry of External Affairs for financial irregularities and misuse of government funds. According to NDTV reports, Ms Pall had allegedly rented an apartment in Austria for INR 15 lakhs a month without the permission of the ministry. Consequently, she was transferred to headquarters on December 9 and has returned to India on Sunday evening though her tenure in Austria had to officially end next month. She has further been restrained from exercising the administrative or financial powers of an ambassador.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ms Renu Pall, the IFS officer of 1988 batch and Indian Ambassador to Austria has been recalled to India by the Ministry of External Affairs for her alleged “financial irregularities, misappropriation of funds and breach of conduct rules.”
  • On the orders of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), the Ministry of the External Affairs conducted an investigation in September at Vienna.
  • They concluded that Ms Pall misused government fund and incurred huge expenses without the permission of the External Affairs Ministry.
  • She has returned to India on Sunday evening and has been exempted from exercising the powers of an Ambassador.

She has also been restrained from exercising all the administrative and financial powers as an ambassador.

Ms Renu Pall is the Indian Foreign Service officer of 1988 batch. Before joining as the Indian Ambassador to Austria, she was the joint secretary (ASEAN Multilateral) in the Ministry of External Affairs and previously the Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India, Berlin. When she took up the assignment as the Ambassador to Austria, she was given a residence in Vienna, Austria. However, she has reportedly rented a flat in Austria for INR15 lakhs per month without the permission of the Ministry of External Affairs, misusing the government funds. On the orders of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), the Ministry of the External Affairs conducted an investigation with a team headed by the chief vigilance officer of the Ministry. The team visited the Embassy of India at Vienna in September and conducted the investigation.

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Allegations on Ms Pal after the investigation

The investigating team concluded that Ms Pall “incurred huge expenditure to the tune of crores of rupees on the government residence without the permission of the ministry.” They further alleged Ms Pall of “fraudulently claiming the VAT refunds and misrepresenting facts in various permissions granted by the government. In the reports submitted by the team to the CVC, it confirmed that Ms Pall was guilty of “financial irregularities, misappropriation of funds and breach of conduct rules.”

They concluded that Ms Pall misused government fund and incurred huge expenses without the permission of the External Affairs Ministry.

Ms Pall returns to India; exempted from all the powers

Though Ms Pall’s tenure as Indian ambassador in Austria was to officially end next month, after the investigation, she has been recalled by the Ministry of External Affairs. She has also been restrained from exercising all the administrative and financial powers as an ambassador. According to the economic times, Ms Pall will face an inquiry based on the charges and could be exonerated, if the allegations are proved false.

However, according to a report by TOI, the MEA on Monday declared that the news about recalling Renu Pall is “factually incorrect, “. It further confirmed that the decision of her transfer to the headquarters in India was an administrative one and not because of any allegations about the misuse of govt. funds

Picture Credit: www.jagran.com

Rudrani Kumari is an intern at SheThePeople.TV

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