Birbal Chand, a junior assistant with the Mandi centre of the Himachal Pradesh Institute of Public Administration (HIPA), has been absconding along with office cashbook since June 23.

Leading English newspaperas h reported that Chand left the HIPA centre located in the Deputy Commissioner’s office building on June 23 and never reported back on duty. Even as he violated the Employees Conduct Rules by taking the cashbook along and remained elusive, no FIR has been lodged by the department in this regard so far.

It is learned that the reason behind not lodging an FIR in this case might be due to the fact that Chand enjoyed considerable political clout. He had reportedly committed the same offence in the recent past and got away with it. Not only this, he had been disbursed his salary for the month of June despite absconding from the office since June 23.

Interestingly, the HIPA’s part-time staff is not getting due salaries and its faculty has to look after the clerical work in the office.

Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC), Mandi, Sandeep Kadam, said they had stopped Chand’s salary of August month and also informed Director, HIPA, Shimla, Dinesh Malhotra in this regard. He had been issued a show-cause notice as well.