Tainted officials roaming free

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Govt deptts fail to complete enquiries related to corruption

Ishtyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, Nov 29: Though the concept of Departmental Vigilance officers (DVOs) in government departments was to help in identifying corrupt officers, but over the years it has been seen that these officers have failed to complete time bound enquiries related to corruption.
Official sources said that there are hundreds of corruption related enquiries pending for the last 10-years with vigilance officers of government departments in the state.
One of the top officials here in the vigilance organization said that though the organization over the years have registered hundreds of corruption, nepotism, high-handedness and red-tapism cases, but the government departments concerned failed to initiate action.
He said in many of these cases, the vigilance organization-initiated FIRs, recommended suspension of the officials involved and action against senior functionaries of these departments, However, the recommendations were ignored or not fully acted upon.
According to the official, the maximum number of these cases were related to the R&B department, PHE, Health, followed by PSUs.
“Departmental heads seem less interested in punishing the corrupt officials,” the official said. He said that the issue was also raised with the government headed by the Governor Satya Pal Malik that its recommendations were not implemented by departments in the state.
Sources also said that the departmental vigilance officers were directed several times by the government to adopt a “multi-dimensional approach” to check allegations of corruption against government officials. However, most of the times, they either take years to complete the investigations or enquiries remain unresolved.
Over these years, the highest number of enquiries were pending in Revenue, R&B and Rehabilitation Department.
Figures had revealed that action has been taken in only 100 cases, while 2,063 were still waiting for disposal in the department.
Sources said that in Rural Development Department, 772 enquiries were pending, while only 51 cases have been resolved. In Housing and Urban Development Department, action was taken in 195 cases out of 512.
The figures had also said that at least 165 corruption related cases were resolved in Education Department and enquiry was pending in over 1,175 cases. In Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Department, action was taken in only 14 cases, while investigations have not been completed in over 255 cases.
The government had issued a circular, where the chief vigilance officers and departmental vigilance officers of all departments were directed to ensure completion of the enquiries pending with them “expeditiously”.
“They shall develop strong internal vigilance mechanism in their respective departments, as also to work in tandem with State Vigilance Commission (SVC) to eradicate the menace of corruption at all levels,” the circular reads.
The departments were told to provide the complete information on their websites regarding the laws, rules and procedures governing the issue of licenses, permissions, clearances, and certificates, which they have ignored so far.
It is to mention here that SVC had advised the Government that only such officers should be appointed as CVOs, DVOs, additional vigilance officers who have appropriate “seniority and integrity”. (KNS)