Electrical engineer AK Verma who went on sick leave in 1990 and never returned, has finally been sacked. Urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu said a case of 'willful absence' was proved against Verma who has been under investigation since 1992, but refused to cooperate. Verma joined the Central Public Works Department in 1980 and rose to the rank of executive engineer by 1990, when he went on leave. An inquiry was arranged in 1992, but formal proceedings to dismiss him were begun only in 2007 and it took a further 7 years for the department to reach a decision to dismiss him. It is not clear if he was paid during his time off. Correspondents say absenteeism is a pervasive problem in government-run offices in India. A report in 2012 labelled India's government machinery the worst in Asia. Schools have also faced similar problems with teachers failing to turn up for work in huge numbers.