New Delhi: The anti-corruption watchdog Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has asked the government departments to take timely action against tainted bureaucrats and not wait till their retirement. The CVC communique comes in the backdrop of government pushing for compulsory retirement of deadwoods and tainted officers in the central ministries and departments.
The CVC has specifically pulled up Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPUSs) and Banks for delaying disciplinary action against the charged officers. The Commission has said that several files for advice are being received just weeks before the officer's retirement.
"References are still being received in the Commission, particularly from CPSUs and public sector banks, after the middle of the month the officer is due to retire, which is not acceptable. The Commission has taken a serious note of such lax attitude on the part of CVOs/Disciplinary Authorities and would again reiterate that all such retirement cases should be received by the first week of the month of superannuation of the officer's concerned," the CVC said.
Last month, the CVC had suggested action against 62 officers from different banks, including dismissal of one officer from the cooperative from the service. On 25 June, the CVC asked the finance ministry to prosecute a commissioner currently serving with the central excise.
At least, 25 officers from The State Bank of India, Canara Bank, Punjab National Bank, Indian Bank, Bank of Baroda, Syndicate Bank and Union Bank of India are currently under the scanner and will be charged for relevant offence soon. Thirteen officers from Department of Coal, seven officers from Ministry of Urban Development, three from Ministry of Defence who are accused of corruption, will also face the departmental action.
Major penalty has also been recommended for four corrupt officers from Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), two officers each from Department of Expenditure and Central Board of Direct Taxes. In May 2019, CVC directed the Central Board of Excise and Customs to dismiss three officers from service involved in corruption cases. Two officers from Bank of Maharashtra and Corporation Bank were sacked and major penalty was imposed against at least 70 government officers.
Majority of the tainted officers, a total 34, were from public sector banks, followed by 19 officers from Central Board of Excise and Customs. At least, ten officers of the Ministry of Railways and five officers of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) were indicted and penalised for misdeeds. In April 2019, a total of 76 bank officers were indicted in corruption cases and disciplinary action were taken against them while 57 bank officials were charged in March 2019. An officer from Andhra Bank was also dismissed from service.
It is pertinent to mention that in 2018-2019 more than 200 bank fraud cases were reported to the central agencies and in majority of cases the role of bank officers had come under the scanner. Fraud worth over Rs 6,800 crore was reported from State Bank of India alone. In April- May 2019, around 31 officers of State Bank of India were charged for corruption and relevant penalty were imposed against them. However, action has been delayed in more than 50 cases including 15 cases against bank officials.
The CVC has warned that government departments or Banks delaying the action against tainted officials will now face the heat.
“Cases/references received for advice after the first week of the month would be returned back to the department/ organization without advice of the commission an action recommended against the concerned authorities,” the CVC, in its letter dated 23 July, said.
Firstpost had earlier reported about delay tactic in the Central Board of Excise and Customs where several corruption cases related to Group 'A' officers were pending for more than 10 years. According to the CVC long delays in finalizing disciplinary matters are not only unjust to officials who may be finally exonerated, but helps the guilty to evade punitive action.
“The time-limit for completion of departmental inquiry is six months from the date of appointment of investigating officer. It appears that this time limit is not being adhered to by majority of the departments. This will have an adverse impact on others who believe that nothing will happen,” the CVC said.
Updated Date: Jul 25, 2019 11:06:45 IST