Complete departmental enquiries against delinquent officials within 3 months: CS

Instructions issued 4 months back yet to be strictly followed

Status note on pendency of RDAs sought from all deptts

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, July 29: Not satisfied with the action on the explicit instructions issued four months back, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam has directed all the Administrative Secretaries to complete all pending departmental enquiries against the delinquent officials within a period of three months strictly as per the provisions of Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1956.
Vide Circular No.18-GAD of 2019 dated March 26, 2019, the Government had issued detailed instructions to all the Administrative Secretaries for monitoring each departmental enquiry carefully to ensure its completion in a time bound manner preferably within a period of three months and its outcome shared with the Vigilance Wing of the General Administration Department.
It was also mentioned in the circular that the recommendations of the Anti-Corruption Bureau or the Crime Branch should be immediately acted upon either for sanctioning prosecution or instituting Regular Departmental Action (RDA).
“If there are any facts which require taking a different view, the case should be referred back to the ACB or Crime Branch along with the facts within four weeks of the receipt of the recommendation from these agencies”, read the Circular dated March 26, 2019.
However, only few Administrative Secretaries strictly acted upon these instructions while as others continued to soft-paddle on handling departmental enquiries despite being aware of the fact that conclusion of such enquiries was having twin objectives—punishing the delinquent officials and leaving the deterrent effect, official sources told EXCELSIOR.
The issue of completion of departmental enquiries in a time bound manner came up for discussion in the recent Committee of Secretaries (CoS) meeting and Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam expressed displeasure over inaction on the instructions passed in the month of March this year.
He has now directed the Administrative Departments to review the pending Regular Departmental Actions and ensure their conclusion as per the timelines fixed vide Circular No.18-GAD of 2019 dated March 26, 2019 issued by the General Administration Department and strictly as per the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1956 and other standing instructions of the Government issued from time to time.
Moreover, the Chief Secretary has asked the departments to submit a status note on pendency of the Regular Departmental Actions in the shortest possible time, they further said, adding on the basis of status note the Chief Secretary will periodically ascertain the latest position vis-a-vis completion of Regular Departmental Actions.
“There are several instances of delinquent officials attaining age of superannuation even without holding of departmental enquiries against them on the recommendations of Anti-Corruption Bureau or Crime Branch and such a practice gives an impression to the honest officials that only corrupt rule the roost”, sources said.
Quoting an example in this regard, they said that the State Vigilance Organization (presently Anti-Corruption Bureau) vide Communication No. VO-SLK-JSC-14/2017-11663-64 dated July 19, 2017 had framed charges against the then Managing Director of SICOP Rattan Lal Tikoo and the Vigilance Wing of the General Administration Department had recommended the matter to the Industries and Commerce Department vide Communication No. GAD (Vig) 89- RDA/ 2017 dated August 2, 2018.
However, formal order for initiation of Regular Departmental Action against Rattan Lal Tikoo, ex-Managing Director SICOP was issued by the Industries and Commerce Department few days back that too when the officer has already retired from the Government service.
“This is the testimony of how recommendations of the Anti-Corruption Bureau and Crime Branch for departmental enquiries are being handled in the Government departments”, sources said.
As per the standing instructions of the Government, the recommendations of the Anti-Corruption Bureau or Crime Branch either for sanctioning prosecution or instituting Regular Departmental Action are required to be acted upon immediately.
“If there are any facts which require taking a different view the case should be referred back to the Anti-Corruption Bureau or Crime Branch along with the facts within a period of four weeks of the receipt of the recommendation from these agencies”, read the instructions.
“The departments are soft-paddling on departmental enquiries despite the fact that recommendations of these agencies invariably contain the draft articles of charge and the statement of imputations with gist of evidence”, sources said.