Purging administration of corruption

Whether State Governments in the past have or have not determinedly taken on corruption in the administrative structure is a moot question. But from what reliable sources reveal about the level of corruption during past six years, 2008 – 2014, one is shocked to find that our State figures high among the corruption index of the country, it has a very low conviction rate. Political pressures, nepotism and favouritism and unwillingness to enforce the rule of the law are perhaps the main reasons for increased corruption. Above all either no conviction or half hearted conviction also contributes to this sordid state of affairs. It is more shocking that officers who have been warned of reports of corruption against them care not two hoots and are loath to mend their ways. Two years ago when Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign was launched in the country, the then State Government said that J&K had elaborate mechanism of curbing corruption in administrative structure and that the State did not need intervention like appointing Lok Pal or Lok Ayukt etc. People believed they had corruption-free administration in the State. However, in these columns we took up the case of a large number of officials against whom allegations of corruption were made and departmental enquires were ordered. But actually no enquiry was held and no cases were processed. We stirred the case of about 145 officials of CAPD alleged to be involved in multi crore scandal but illegally shielded by the officials with vested interest.
However, the Governor is serious about purging the State Administration of corruption and enforcing the norms of good governance. He called the meeting of  State Vigilance  Commission (SVC), State Vigilance Organisation (SVO) and officials of GAD on 19th January in the Raj Bhawan.  The result of the briefing brought to the Governor was that he ordered the Vigilance Organization to prepare Corruption Index and submit the same to the Raj Bhawan within stipulated time.
Vigilance Organization has prepared the Corruption Index and as many as twelve Government Departments have been identified in the Index for corruption led by the Revenue and Education Departments.  Details of departments, officers of senior ranks and officials of junior level who are tainted as corrupt are simply shocking. They have been categorized as habitual offenders, corrupt elements and officers prone to corrupt practices. Vigilance Organization has also prepared a separate list of such officers as have not been mending their behaviour and eschewing corruption despite warnings. There is also a category of dead wood in the administration. Total number of alleged corrupt officers during past six years computes to 1039 which is not a small number by any means.
People have received the bold step of the Governor with warm response. At least there is a movement aimed at bringing the corrupt officials in the administration to book.  That the Corruption Index has been prepared within the stipulated time speaks for the seriousness of the Governor. In the same vein people expect that processing of cases against the corrupt will be speeded up and nothing will be allowed to put a spike in the wheel.
It is pertinent to note that judges for additional special anti-corruption courts have already been appointed to help expediting the process of law.
Hopes have been raised high that the Governor will leave no stone unturned to deal with the menace. Corruption needs to be uprooted lock, stock and barrel from all segments of State Administration.


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