The Ministry of External Affairs has recalled the Indian Ambassador to Austria, Renu Pall, for financial irregularities and misuse of government funds after she rented an apartment for herself, costing Rs 15 lakh per month.
Pall, an Indian Foreign Service officer of 1988 batch, was to complete her tenure in Austria next month.
As per an investigation ordered by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and conducted by the Ministry of External Affairs, she "incurred huge expenditure to the tune of crores of rupees on the government residence without the permission of the ministry".
The diplomat had been "fraudulently claiming the VAT refunds and misrepresenting facts in various permissions" granted by the government, according to official sources.
A team headed by the chief vigilance officer of the ministry visited Vienna in September to conduct the investigation. In its report submitted to the CVC, the team "prima facie" confirmed the "financial irregularities, misappropriation of funds and breach of conduct rules".
The ministry transferred Pall to headquarters on December 9 and also restrained her from exercising any administrative or financial powers of an Ambassador. Renu Pall is returning to India from Vienna on Sunday evening.
(With agency inputs.)