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30 percent IPS officers ignore property disclosure

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IAS

 

New Delhi: More than 30 percent officers of the Indian Police Service (IPS) and about 15 percent officers of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) have not disclosed details of their immovable property for the year 2014, according to government data.

The All-India Service (Conduct) rules, 1968, require officers to disclose these details when they join service and submit an annual property statement-listing properties and shares.

As many as 1,302 IPS officers have missed the deadline by four months, most serving in the Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh cadres. More than 600 IPS officers have not filed returns for 2012 and 2013. There are currently 3,700 IPS officers nationwide.

IAS officers do better; 650 of about 4,600 officers have defaulted on their asset statements, according to the department of personnel and training (DoPT), which acts as the nodal agency for service matters of IAS officers. The number for previous years is also lower at 150 and 240 for the year 2012 and 2013 respectively.

Of the 24 state cadres, with more than 71 percent of defaulting IPS officers, the Assam-Meghalaya joint cadre tops the list, followed by Jharkhand and Nagaland.

For the IAS, the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territory cadre has highest number (43 percent) of defaulters.

Government ignore defaults, so they increase

Officers who do not submit property returns in time will be “denied vigilance clearance” and will not be considered for promotion or put on short-list for senior posts in Government of India, according to a June 2012 home ministry circular.

But with no action is taken against those who default, leading to more defaulting officers, retired IPS officers told IndiaSpend. The home ministry can order departmental inquiries against defaulters or those who file wrong information, but not many such cases have been launched, said former Maharashtra Director General of Police Rahul Gopal.

Property declarations bring transparency, improves public confidence in the administration and ensures integrity of subordinates, said many officers.

An officer who does not declare assets is in no position to ask subordinates to do so, out of fear that their own illegal assets will be exposed, said 1981-batch Karnataka cadre IAS officer M.N. Vijaykumar, who retired in April 2015.

“Declaration of assets to the public is a way of telling the citizens that you have kept faith in me by permitting me to handle crores of rupees of public money for public use, and I have not exploited your trust,” said Vijaykumar.

However, some officers who figure in the list do not agree with Vijaykumar.

“Not every officer who missed the deadline is corrupt, sometimes because of busy schedule we forget to file returns,” said a senior IAS officer of the 1980 batch-currently posted in a central ministry-requesting anonymity.

Another senior IPS officer, of the 1985 batch, whose name figures in the list, claims he submitted his return to the state government, which had apparently failed to forward it to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Defaulters at the top

More than 30 IPS officers in the defaulters’ list are Director Generals of Police. About 15 defaulting IAS officers hold secretary rank in the union government.

Service rules require officers to file annual property returns from their date of appointment. But returns were made public only in 2011 on a government website, as the Hindustan Times reported that year.

Following the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013 which provides for the establishment of a body of Lokpal for the Union and Lokayukta for states to inquire into allegations of corruption against public functionaries, officers must now reveal property details of their spouses and children as well.

However, in September 2014, Vinita Singla, wife of a government servant and working with an IT company, filed a writ petition in the Delhi High court against provisions regarding the disclosure of assets held in the names of spouses and children, contending that they violate her fundamental rights.

She pleaded that disclosed assets on a government website will cause prejudice and humiliation before the public at large. The high court passed an interim order staying the government from taking action as per the provisions of the act.

Following this, the government has been extending the deadline for filing property details under the Lokpal Act from first deadline of September 15, 2014. Officials are now asked to submit the returns by October 2015.

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With a Headless Women’s Commission, Jharkhand is working through a Surge in Crimes against Women

A 19-year-old engineering student was raped, strangulated and set afire on December 16

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Representational image. Wikimedia Commons

Ranchi, December 26, 2016: Jharkhand is working through a surge in crimes against women with a headless women’s commission.

More than a month and a half has passed since the three-year tenure of Mahuwa Manjhi, the last Chairperson of the Jharkahnd Women’s Commission, ended on November 10 but the top post at the women’s rights panel is still lying vacant.

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This year till October, more than 1,000 rape cases were reported in the state. In December alone, four women were burnt to death in the state, besides the rape and murder of a four-year-old girl, whose mutilated body was found on December 22.

A 19-year-old engineering student was raped, strangulated and set afire on December 16.

On December 14, an elderly woman and her husband in Simdega district were burnt to death on allegations of practicing black magic.

Another woman was burnt alive on December 12 in Khuti district, also on wild charges of practicing black magic.

Earlier, a minor girl was burnt and thrown in a well after she protested alleged gangrape attempt in Seraikela-Kharsawa district.

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“Now the commission is handicapped as police officials are least bothered to reply to the queries of the commission. The chairperson of the commission has many powers, which help us to ensure justice to the victims,” an official of the commission told IANS.

The opposition parties have criticised Chief Minister Raghubar Das and his Bharatiya Janata Party government for keeping the constitutional posts vacant.

“Raghubar Das has demeaned the dignity of constitutional posts. A PIL is pending against Health Minister, Chief Minister and others. Despite the corruption charges, the Lokayukta and other posts are lying vacant,” Jharkhand Congress General Secretary Alok Dubey told IANS.

“Shameful incidents against women took place this month as JCW chairperson post has been lying vacant for over a month,” he added.

The posts of Lokayukta, Chairperson of the Minority Commission and Chief of the state Election Commissioner are lying vacant from last six months to one year.

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No arrest has been made in the rape and murder case of the 19-year-old engineering student so far. A Special Investigating Team (SIT) has been formed to probe the incident.

The Ranchi police have also announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for the person who provides information on the case. (IANS)

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Supreme Court appoints Justice Sanjay Mishra as UP Lokayukta

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New Delhi: The former judge of the Allahabad High Court Justice Sanjay Mishra was appointed as the Lokayukta of Uttar Pradesh by the Supreme Court on Thursday.

The apex court bench comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Prafulla C Pant appointed Mishra as the Lokayukta while recalling their December 16, 2015, order appointing Justice Virendra Singh for the post.

Recalling the sequence of events leading to the appointment of Singh as the Lokayukta on December 16, 2015, the court regretted that constitutional authorities, the chief minister, the Leader of Opposition (LoP) and the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court despite prolonged meetings could not decide on a simple issue of the appointment of Lokayukta.(IANS)

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Drunk Russian diplomat hits biker, punches police

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New Delhi: In a case of drunken driving and road rage, a severely intoxicated diplomat of the Russian embassy hit a motorbike and then rammed his vehicle into a police barricade in Moti Bagh at 1:30 am Wednesday. Two persons were critically injured in the accident.

Instead of stopping his vehicle after colliding with the bike, he tried to flee and in the process barged into the police barricade.

He allegedly roughed up the on-duty police constable and punched him.

A friend of the diplomat had to intervene to stop the scuffle. The friend had a long conversation with the police before taking the Russian diplomat away.

“He was so intoxicated that he could not control the car and he was practically unconscious. He was driving really fast and was unable to stop. His car is so badly damaged and this is proof of how hard he rammed into the police barricade. When the police tried to get him out of the car, he refused to do so,” one of the bikers said.

The biker was admitted in AIIMS. The Russian diplomat also suffered injuries on his face.

The police have contacted Russian embassy and asked them to take a legal action against the Russian diplomat.

(With inputs from agencies)

(Picture Courtesy:www.media.newindianexpress.com)