Strengthen Anti Corruption Bureau

“What is in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet…” the famous words of Shakespeare would metaphorically be spoken in respect of the State Vigilance Organisation as “What is in a changed name? That which we called State Vigilance Organisation, by any other name would look the same”. This is not, however, a satire in the ordinary literary sense but a serious critique on the way Anti Corruption Bureau has been treated by the state administration as perhaps just by changing the nomenclature from State Vigilance Organization (SVO) to Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), it was thought that the most complicated and deep rooted malaise of corruption in almost all spheres of our system in the state could be fought out and curbed. No, it is not like that as these cosmetic measures prove mere otiose in the strict sense of serious administrative mechanism. Post rechristening exercise, as to how the highest anti- corruption body in Jammu and Kashmir state could be strengthened, no serious thought appears to have been given towards this basic issue.
How could any organisation worth the name, function in the absence of a reasonable strength of man power , not to speak of providing additional hands to impart more lethality and sharpness to its teeth to effectively take on the monster of corruption? Unless the staff selected for this prestigious organisation is adequate, of impeccable integrity and honesty, dedicated , well trained and made performance oriented and at the same time, given additional incentives by way of certain special allowances, a body like Anti Corruption Bureau would not show enviable results. There was a proposal to grant Special Investigation Allowance to the officials of this organization on the pattern of Central Investigating Agencies but that is under the thick layers of dust in the office of the General Administration Department for quite some time .
A good start was made, again by the Governor by paying heed to the problem of corruption and how with the existing infrastructure it could be contained. Accordingly, in October last year State Administrative Council approved setting up of Anti Corruption Bureau and the requisite relevant Acts of 2006 and of 2011 were amended to formally establish Anti Corruption Bureau in the State. A slew of measures were announced including setting up of six new Police Stations under the ACB unlike the SVO which had only two, one each at Srinagar and Jammu. Similarly, instructions were passed for sufficient man power to man not only the six new police stations but existing two stations also. But as on date, say after three months, nothing of the sort has been done which leaves little doubt about the new organisation too meeting the same fate as that of the State Vigilance Organization. But can we afford that?
It is a poor reflection on the working of the General Administration Department that the ACB is working with just one third of the sanctioned man power while work load has increased since corruption and corruption related cases, complaints etc are showing the usual surge due to the menace being deep rooted in the state and if really the State Government is serious about fighting this grave problem, then it must make the organisation fully strong and its personnel must be duly taken care of, encouraged, not subjected to succumb to political pressures and last but not the least, no leniency shown to corrupt officials and those who were under the radar of the Organization. Let this organization not only function autonomously and professionally well, but appear and act as a deterrent to corrupt officials.


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