War against corruption: Guidelines, procedures in departmental enquiries not being followed

SRINAGAR, Sept 18:The Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory Government led by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has noticed that the guidelines and procedures to be adopted in departmental enquiries are not being followed by departments which “defeats the very purpose” of investigation by the investigating agencies.

“In some cases it has been observed after receiving recommendations from the investigating agencies, the department instead of serving charge-sheet to the delinquent public servants choose to appoint enquiry officer or constitute enquiry committee of their level to decide the matter, which is unnecessary uncalled for and often seen as a delaying tactic to avoid conclusion of departmental enquiries. In many other cases, it has been observed that even after the conclusion of departmental proceedings, government orders are not issued,” the guidelines read, a copy of which lies with early times.

The departments have also been directed that they should monitor each departmental enquiry carefully to ensure its completion within three months and its outcome shared with the General Administration Department (Vigilance).

The investigating agencies Anti-Corruption Bureau or Crime Branch in many cases recommend department action against delinquent public servants pursuant to which the departments are required to initiate departmental proceedings in accordance with the rules.

An official of GAD said the anti-graft bodies have recommended strict action against those officers who are trying to shield tainted officials.

“It has been found that officers in various departments are not acting on recommendations of investigating agencies instead resort to delay dallying tactics,” the official said.

Anti-graft bodies were working under Jammu and Kashmir Prevention of Corruption Act, 2006, which has been replaced by Centre’s Prevention of Corruption Act as per J&K Reorganisation Act 2019.
There are certain provisions under this new Act which empowers anti-graft bodies to fight with corruption in the new Union Territory.

“In order to influence a public servant, by corrupt or illegal means, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall be not less than three year but may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine,” the Act reads.

Under this Act, abatement by a public servant of offences shall be punishable with imprisonment not less than six months but which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine.