Corruption continues to pervade virtually every sphere of life in Jammu and Kashmir, notwithstanding promises made from time to time to eradicate the menace. Beyond doubt, the corruption eats into the innards of a nation and is a debilitating social cancer which spares no one. There are numerous reasons, some of them well documented, as to why the corruption flourishes. However, failure by our key institutions particularly police and judiciary to bring to close a case plays an important part.
As per information from the Court of Special Judge, Anti-corruption, Jammu, there are FIRs starting from 1998 onwards under the Prevention of Corruption Act, where challans have not been presented till date. The allegations are of forgery, bribery, misuse of government money, fictitious withdrawals from the treasury, embezzlement of government money, disbursement of loans without proper documents, allotment of works without tendering process, possession of assets disproportionate to known sources of income, fabrication or fictitious bills for the purchases, etc. The allegations of corruption there are allegations under provisions of penal code also in most of the FIRs.
Many of the accused named in the FIRs are government officials. They may be either under suspension or may be getting all benefits despite pendency of criminal cases against them.
There are timelines provided in legislations for the presentation of the charge sheet, otherwise, an accused is entitled to default bail. Any delay by the Investigating Agency in not completing investigation of the cases registered is seriously impacting the justice delivery system as the guilty are not being brought to court for trial even after decades of registration of cases against them, thus observed the J&K’s top court.
While reasons for the delay could be plenty, the government should ensure the monitoring system for investigations in the FIRs. Where there is a dearth of manpower, it should be addressed while as administration must also take action against the investigating officers, if they don’t complete investigation within the specified time.
The administration shall also take departmental action taken against the government employees involved in corruption cases. Wherever sanction is pending it should be done within the reasonable dispatch. Corruption threatens the functioning of the government and no effort should be spared to sternly deal with it.