Despite being booked for corrupt practices, majority of officials enjoying prize postings

GAD not acting on SVO communiqués about giving insignificant posts

Govt itself creating roadblock in fair investigations

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Aug 28: In a big question mark on the intentions of the Government about fighting menace of corruption with tooth and nail, majority of the officials booked for indulging in corrupt practices are enjoying prize postings at different levels in the State administration even after repeated communications from the State Vigilance Organization requesting for giving them insignificant posts.
In this way, the Government is itself creating obstacles in ensuring fair investigations by the major anti-corruption body rather than facilitating the same for giving exemplary punishment to the corrupt elements in the administration.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that after registration of FIR against any Government servant under Jammu and Kashmir Prevention of Corruption Act, the State Vigilance Organi-zation (SVO) writes to the General Administration Department or the other concerned departments for shifting the involved official to the insignificant post so that he or she may not be in a position to scuttle the investigation in anyway.
However, what to talk of other departments, even the General Administration Department, which is supposed to act as role model for other wings of the Government, is treating as trash such communications from the State Vigilance Organization, sources further said.
“Due to this, the officials despite being booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act continue to hold important positions at different levels in the administration”, they said, adding “the practice of not taking State Vigilance Organization’s communiqués seriously not only creates obstacles in fair investigations but also boosts the morale of the corrupt elements besides undermining the authority of the premier investigating agency of the State”.
Quoting some examples, sources said that vide FIR No.8/2018-VOJ dated March 27, 2018, the then Directors of Rural Development Department Jammu and Assistant Commissioners of Development (ACDs) of Rajouri and Poonch were booked for misappropriation of Government funds.
Though Government was supposed to give insignificant postings to the officials booked for involvement in the misappropriation of Government funds yet Noor Alam, the then ACD Rajouri was transferred and posted as ACD Udhampur, which is considered as important posting. Similarly, Mukhtiar Ahmed, who was also booked in this case, has not been shifted from the post of ACD Poonch till date.
“This is notwithstanding the fact that State Vigilance Organization vide letter dated April 20, 2018 had requested for shifting both these officials to some insignificant posts”, sources said, adding “the intensity of non-serious approach towards the communications of the State Vigilance Organization can further be gauged from the fact that vide letter dated August 7, 2018 the request for shifting these officials to unimportant posts was reiterated by the Vigilance Organization”.
While expressing displeasure over inaction on the earlier communiqué, the SVO in its letter dated August 7, 2018 addressed to Commissioner/Secretary General Administration Department had mentioned: “Shifting of these officials to insignificant posts is imperative for fair investigation as they are trying to scuttle the probe”. However, this communication has also fallen on deaf ears.
Quoting another example, sources said that vide FIR No.19/2018-VOJ dated July 14, 2018, Mohd Yousuf Malik, ACD Reasi was booked for possessing disproportionate assets and the Government was supposed to shift him to insignificant post. However, the official is still holding the same post.
Not only these officials, there is a long list of Government servants who despite having been booked by the Vigilance Organization under J&K Prevention of Corruption Act have been enjoying prize postings, sources said.
“It is pity that Government doesn’t shift the officials from the important posts even after registration of FIRs against them by the State Vigilance Organization and allow them to enjoy prize postings despite being aware of the fact that this was one of the grounds behind quashing of compulsory retirement orders of the Government by the High Court”, sources said.
They further said, “by not acting on the communications of the Vigilance Organization the Government is itself creating obstacles in ensuring fair investigations rather than facilitating the same for giving exemplary punishment to the corrupt elements in the administration”.