Say civil servants may pay for political executives' illegal decisions

Members of the IAS officers' association today expressed concern and anguish about the manner in which the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) is handling probe into some alleged irregularities in high profile cases.

Over 70 IAS officers today met the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, and represented their concerns.

Senior officers, Mr J.Raymond Peter, general secretary and Mr Prashanth Mohapatra, vice-president of IAS Officers Association, said that the CBI is investigating into high stake decisions of the State Government with substantive financial implications. These decisions could not have been taken without the explicit approval of concerned political executives, overseeing the respective departments.

They stated that these decisions could not have been implemented without the explicit and or tacit approval of concerned members of the Council of Ministers. However, political executives are being let off and civil servants are being used as scapegoats.

In a note they said that certain decisions are being questioned as irregular and officers who processed papers for such decisions being questioned. However, no steps seem to have been taken to reverse these supposedly irregular decisions. Thus the beneficiaries of such allegedly irregular decisions continue to reap benefits, while IAS officers who processed the paper work for such decisions are harassed with criminal investigations and prosecution.

Therefore, the Government should urgently review and either reverse or reconfirm such decisions.

Officers facing criminal prosecution for acts during the course of discharging the duties of their office should be defended legally by the Government. Entire legal services cost should be borne by the Government.

Further, they stated that the CBI should be advised that sanction of the State Government under whom the officer worked at the time of alleged irregularity, is a must for launching of the prosecution. Permission by Government of India under the Prevention of Corruption Act is an additional requirement, but not a primary sanction by State Government.

Further these officials required for investigation could be examined in their chambers as being done for ministers.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 4, 2012)
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