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Depts under scanner for ‘shielding’ corrupt officials

Srinagar, Feb 9: Government departments have come under the scanner of investigating agencies for allegedly shielding tainted officials despite recommendations to proceed against them as per the law.

“In some cases it has been observed after receiving recommendations from the investigating agencies, the department instead of serving charge-sheet to the delinquent public servants choose to appoint enquiry officer or constitute enquiry committee of their level to decide the matter, which is unnecessary uncalled for and often seen as a delaying tactic to avoid conclusion of departmental enquiries. In many other cases, it has been observed that even after the conclusion of departmental proceedings, government orders are not issued,” read the guidelines issued by the government.

 

The departments have been directed that they should monitor each enquiry carefully to ensure its completion with three months and its outcome shared with the General Administration Department (Vigilance).

“The investigating agencies –Anti-Corruption Bureau or Crime Branch –in many cases recommend departmental action against delinquent public servants pursuant to which the departments are required to initiate departmental proceedings in accordance with the rules”, read the guidelines.

An official of GAD said anti-graft bodies have recommended strict action against those officers who shield tainted officials.

“It has been found that officers in various departments are not acting on the recommendations of investigating agencies and instead resort to delay dallying tactics,” the official said.

Under Centre’s Prevention of Corruption Act, the anti-graft bodies have been given sweeping powers to eradicate corruption in the new Union Territory.

 “In order to influence public servant, by corrupt or illegal means, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall be not less than three year but may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine,” the Act reads.

Under this Act, abatement by public servant of offences shall be punishable with imprisonment not less than six months but which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine.