Departmental action against corrupt employees

Irrespective of court orders, wherever an employee was found having indulged in corrupt and irregular practices by misusing his or her official position, it was incumbent upon the Departmental Head to proceed against such employee and take action after completing formalities usually required for the same including being in regular touch with the General Administration Department . Such a departmental action would start with placing the accused employee under suspension and restrict one’s entry into the concerned office except for appearing in respect of the proceedings under the said departmental action, if required. It was, as a natural corollary, without prejudice to the legal action over and above under Prevention of Corruption Act against the delinquent employee. A position can be well understood, though with concern, that when there are clear cut instructions and orders from the Court to advise it the nature of departmental action having been taken by the concerned departments against the employees involved in cases of corruption and even the General Administration Department is asked to furnish the details and the list but the same not being presented to the court.
While some of the departments have complied with the court directives and a list too having been submitted before the court depicting action having been taken against 594 employees and services of 177 employees having been placed under suspension, the information was not complete. However, since the number appears to be quite insignificant which has been accounted for total non compliance by many departments, the matter is of great concern. That was totally unacceptable and was tantamount to encouraging and supporting corruption and corrupt dealings which went against the very purpose and the aim of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the “zero tolerance” to corruption as a committed policy of the UT Government. We would suggest, at the outset, to initiate an action against such departmental heads befitting the intentional lapse or non -compliance on their part. These departments are Revenue, Rural Development, Jal Shakti, Housing and Urban Development, Education, Finance, Food Supplies and other 10 departments. They show – what is called as “reluctance” in revealing information about such an action taken against corrupt employees in these departments.
We have, on umpteen times, made the simple logic simpler in explaining that an employee continued to be in service to the pleasure of its employer, other things remaining the same, and when the Government was the employer and paying to its employees from the public exchequer, the thumb rule attained more fragility and a Government servant was bound to obey Government orders or quit or shown the door by the employer. Here in the instant case, a piquant situation is that even court orders are dared to be ignored. It may be recalled that the High Court had in July this year, asked the General Administration Department (GAD) to furnish the information about the Departmental Action taken against the Government employees involved in corruption cases and if no action was taken, the reasons thereof too to be submitted. Not only this, the court had sought information about the number of suspended employees involved in corruption cases and instances of retiral dues having been paid to such employees on attaining their retirement or superannuation.
39 departments, we have learnt, were informed by the General Administration Department about the matter and even sent the copies of the court order in order to bring home to the heads of these departments the importance and the urgency of the matter but out of the 39 , while 21 have sent the desired information, rest of the 18 have not . The reasons of non -compliance is known only to such “defaulting” departments. We have also learnt that even now the GAD is “vigorously” pursuing the matter with the concerned defaulting departments to submit the information to at least comply with the court orders. While this type of scenario continued to prevail and sustain where even after explicit court orders, action was not taken against those employees involved in corruption, how could the administrative set up in the UT be free of the scourge of corruption. While Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has made it clear that corruption in offices would never be tolerated, it remains to be seen what action was taken against the heads of the 18 defaulting departments to convey the resolute stand of the Government in not compromising, not even in the least, with corruption.