Throwing light on corrupt acts- Beyond the Prime Time Boundaries

by R.Mohan

(09-01-17) : For a change, officials at the top of the hierarchy are facing vigilance probes. Till now, the might of the state, mostly or entirely fell on those who had little voice to protest. Most of the recent cases have been results of complaints filed by PIL filers before vigilance courts and consequential actions by Vigilance. At this juncture, one cannot sit in judgment over the complaints against individuals. But the resolution of a group of IAS officers calls for an introspection by the public.

1. The IAS officers are upset by the initiation of enquiry by an officer of the IPS, an inferior brother of the civil service hierarchy.

2. The IAS group has stated that the Vigilance Director has huge disproportionate assets. Coming from persons who know many administrative secrets, can they shy away from their primary responsibility as citizens to file a complaint at the appropriate forum with evidence in hand based on which they have made these allegations?

3. Can some of these administrators look into the question of making files, at least those regarding appointments be dealt with  more transparency and real time information providing to citizens ?Administrators and political set up often run away from sunlight zones.

4.  Individuals, who man the seats at the moment do not matter. There needs to be systemic changes for preventing excesses as well as cover up acts.

5. What stops us from having a Lok Ayukta with a judicial set up selected by a committee of Chief Minister, Leader of Opposition and the Chief Justice of the State? We can have a legislated dos and don'ts and a process of impeachment in case of misconduct. Preferably, the Lok Ayukta can have a three year tenure and can be a person not from this State.

6. Why should Vigilance head continue to be a post on deputation from a particular service and the tenure totally dependent on the pleasure of the political master of the day?

7. When allegations and counter allegations are being raised, the funny aspect raised is morale. Where is the common man's morale, whose rights can be trampled upon by any petty state authority?

8. Do we need the luxury of such a top heavy bureaucracy when there is acute shortage at the cutting edge level?

9. The bureau is expanding but is governance improving?
None of these gets answered. What we need is an impartial enquiry system, which equally frowns upon frivolous complaints against honest officers for some bonafide mistake. Penalising the corrupt and those who indulge in vested complaint making industry should get equal importance.

This cannot be solved by moving persons or a group of officers taking a day's casual leave. May be the entire bureaucracy at the top can take some more leave to introspect on these matters and if possible come up with alternatives. Else, these resolutions can only provide fodder for prime time news industry.