9000 corruption cases await disposal as vigilance officers fail time bound completion of enquiries

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Srinagar: Despite directives by the government, vigilance officers in departments have failed time bound completion of enquiries related to corruption. Official sources said that there are 9,000 corruption related enquiries pending for the last 10-years with vigilance officers of government departments in the state.

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 are pending in Revenue and Rehabilitation Department. Figures reveal that action has been taken in only 100 cases, while 2,063 are still waiting for disposal in the department.

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In Rural Development Department, 772 enquiries are pending, while only 51 cases have been resolved. In Housing and Urban Development Department, action has been taken in 195 cases out of 512. Atleast 165 corruption related cases have been resolved in Education Department and enquiry is pending in over 1,175 cases. In Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Department, action has been taken in only 14 cases, while investigations have not been completed in over 255 cases.

Anti-graft bodies receive most of the complaints against departments having large public interface.

The government last year 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.

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An official of the State Vigilance Commission (SVC) said that corruption cases remain pending for years in the state. “Departmental heads seem less interested in punishing the corrupt officials,” the official said. He said that SVC has also raised this issue with the government that its recommendations were not implemented by departments in the state.

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.

The SVC has also recommended that premature transfers in all the departments need to be “stopped, except on disciplinary grounds” and departmental vigilance mechanism needs to be strengthened.

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SVC has advised the Government that only such officers should be appointed as CVOs, DVOs, additional vigilance officers who have appropriate “seniority and integrity”. While, in its annual report, the SVC has expressed concern that its recommendations were not implemented.

Chief Vigilance Commissioner, PL Gupta last year, that they would raise the issue with departmental heads why the SVC recommendations “have not been implemented” so far. “We will ensure that internal vigilance mechanism is strengthened and pending enquiries are completed,” he had said.

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(With inputs from KNS)

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