MY YEARS AS VIGILANCE COMMISSIONER OF ANDHRA PRADESH
1. A word about myself and the organization I am associated with, as Sri Vijaya Malya, announces about himself and his ‘Kingfisher Airlines’ on Board. After a considerable time on the chair, as Vigilance Commissioner of the Andhra Pradesh State Vigilance Commission, I am astonished to learn that most of our senior officials of AII–India Services are blissfully unaware of what Vigilance Commissioner and what is Andhra Pradesh Vigilance Commission, including the present Chief Secretary. Lesser mortals need not be aware of it, if big bosses are not aware of it. The painstakingly, compiled 4–volumes of Andhra Pradesh Vigilance Commission Manuals, by my distinguished predecessor, Sri C.R. Kamalanathan, is not heard of, leave alone scanned by those for whom it is meant to be perused.
2, Though Andhra Pradesh Vigilance Commission, came into existence, along with Central Vigilance Commission in 1964, based, on the recommendations of Sri Santhanam Committee on prevention of corruption, the present day civil servants have not even heard about it. The present crop of politicians, enjoying power were kids when the Vigilance Commission, was established in Andhra Pradesh, along with Central Vigilance Commission. It was abolished for a short period, during the days of eclipse of congress in power and rise of new Telugu Desam in 1983, to be replaced by an organization called ‘Dharma Mahamatra’; again this organization was abolished and Vigilance Commission was re-established during the congress rule by the then Cabinet in 1993. No wonder, the present day politicians, in power, are, blissfully, unaware of the role of Vigilance Commissioner and of Andhra Pradesh Vigilance Commission. Their character, lack of understanding the rule of law, false notion that Executive is Supreme, in their desire to make quick buck, the habit of not achieving anything except their own objectives and agenda and accumulations make them unable to apply to issues like what is A.P. Vigilance Commission. They do not realise that they are riding a tiger in Sri Ram Chandra Samal, as Vigilance Commissioner, of which they cannot dismount nor they can control.
The Vigilance Commissioner is a great obstacle of their achievements. For them, there is clarity of their objectives and means are not important. It means Mahatma Gandhi,
2.may die of shame again and again, in his grave. Against this background, this self introduction is required.
3.Against this background, the state of affairs, now prevalent, in the country in general and in Andhra Pradesh in particular, I am of the opinion, that I will be failing in my duties, unless I introduce myself and the organization, I headed to the “Babus” and to the politicians in power who are busy in the LOOT and to the honest few in the civil services in the business of quality administration and to the general public of Andhra Pradesh who are sufferers at large, in the name of very big. “DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION”. The name of the game is ‘Development’ and ‘Babus’ administering it, in a massive scale, unprecedented hitherto. Wealth of the society, in the shape of land and what is called ‘family silver’, accumulated through centuries is vanishing very fast, in the name of Development Administration.
4. In a well written article, one of the IAS officers, who is an eminent civil servant, namely, Sri V.S.Pandey, in the Indian Express dated: 18.11.2004, headlined “BABUS ARE NOT BERTRAD RUSSELL” (a Nobel Laureate), had discussed activities of present day “Babus” with reference to the efforts being made now by Government of India to reform ‘Indian Bureaucracy’, to make it more result oriented, performance driven, honest and accountable has written as follows:
”The civil services attract the best talent. The fate of these talented young men and women is another story. A large number of officers still remain ‘honest’ (?), that is do not take bribes. But they lose the courage to call a spade a spade. There is an unknown fear that something terrible will happen to them, a fear which makes them apathetic towards real governance issues. Others are a bunch of thugs who thrive with the active support of corrupt politicians and their tribe, which is increasing by the day. Cowards are rewarded. It is they who climb to the top of the ladder and occupy top slots
everywhere. The question is, with the cowardly and the corrupt occupying centre stage, can the nation expect to bring about drastic changes in governance by effecting cosmetic changes in the system?”
He further writes in next paragraphs” In the year 1931, Bertrad Russel wrote an essay titled The Advantages of Cowardice, encapsulating the crux of the problems, faced by society. Russell wrote ‘During French revolution, 1789, when the Reign of Terror came to an end, it was found that no one was left alive among the politicians, except prudent cowards who had changed their opinions quickly enough to keep their heads on their shoulders. The result was twenty years of military glory, because there was no one left among politicians with sufficient courage to keep their generals in order. The French Revolution was an exceptional time, but wherever organization exists, cowardice will be found more advantageous than courage. Of the men at the head of business, schools, lunatic asylums, and the like, nine out of ten, will prefer the supple lickspittle to the outspoken man of independent judgment. In politics, it is necessary to profess the party programme and flatter the leaders. In the Navy, it is necessary, to profess antiquated views on naval strategy, in the army, it is necessary to maintain a medieval outlook on every thing; in journalism, wage slaves, have to use their brains to give expression to the opinion of millionaires; in education professors lose their jobs, if they do not respect the prejudices of the illiterate. This result of the state of affairs is that, in practically, every walk of life, the men who come to the top, have served a long apprenticeship in cowardice, while the honest and courageous, have to be sought for in workhouses and prisons. Is this regrettable?’
5. A familiar scenario. The art of succeeding has changed little since the time Russell wrote about. Unless the entire culture is changed, no systemic reform of any kind is likely to succeed. Instead, there is a need to bring about a profound change in the attitude of people occupying higher positions to stop rewarding cowards. It is the basic instinct of human nature, to follow the path of least resistance and achieve maximum comfort for itself. Going against this basic instinct, requires rigorous effort, and this is the effort that the system must support. The first and foremost requirement is to establish a society based, on rule of law and equity, to create spirited people who possess the spirit to act honestly.
6. For those who only have their self-interest uppermost in their mind, and whose ambition is to die in the’ odour of sanctity, respected by bank managers, admired by friends and neighbours, and universally regarded as models of what a citizen should be, Bertrant Russell writes ‘don’t express your own opinions but those of your boss; don’t endeavour to realize ends which you yourself think good, but puruse rather those aimed at by some organizations supported by millionaires; in your private friendships select influential men if you can, or, failing that, men whom you judge likely to become influential. Do this, and you will win the good opinion of all the best elements in the community. This is sound advice, but, for my part, I would sooner die than follow it.” How prophetic?
“I will give you a talisman, whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man (woman) whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him (her). Will he (she) gain anything by it? Will it restore him (her) to a control over his (her) own life and destiny? In other words,
will it lead to swaraj (freedom) for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubts and your self melt away.”
One of the last notes left behind by Gandhi in 1948, expressing his deepest social though. (Source: Mahatma Gandhi (Last Phase, Vol.II (1958), P. 65)
7. Now about the Commission I had luck and fortune to head Vigilance Commission tenders advice in cases, which involve vigilance angle. “Vigilance” in general terms means watchfulness, caution, and circumspection and in its application to statecraft connotes maintenance of Purity and integrity in Public life. This definition figured at item 1. of Chapter-I of Vigilance Manual (Volume – 1). The term of “Vigilance Angle” has not been comprehensively defined in the Vigilance Manuals brought out by the Government so far. The Central Vigilance Commission has formulated revised definition of vigilance angle as under:
“Vigilance angle is obvious in the following acts: –
8. (i) Demanding and/or accepting gratification other than legal remuneration, in respect of an official act or for using his influence with any other official.
(ii) Obtaining valuable thing, without consideration or with inadequate consideration from a person with whom he has or likely to have official dealings or his subordinates have official dealings or where he can exert influence. (iii) Obtaining for himself or for any other person any valuable thing or pecuniary advantage by corrupt or illegal means or by abusing his position as a public servant.
(iv) Possession of assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.
(v) Cases of misappropriation, forgery or cheating or other similar criminal offences.
9. (a) There are, however, other irregularities where circumstances will have to be weighed carefully to take a view whether the officer’s integrity, is in doubt. Gross or willful negligence; recklessness in decision making; blatant violations of systems and procedures; exercise of discretion in excess, where no ostensible/public interest is evident; failure to keep the controlling authority/superiors informed in time – these are some of the irregularities where the disciplinary authority with the help of the Vigilance Commissioner, should
carefully study the case and weigh the circumstances to come to a conclusion whether there is reasonable ground to doubt the integrity of the officer concerned.
(b) Any undue/un justified delay in the disposal of a case, perceived after considering all relevant factors, would reinforce a conclusion, as to the presence of vigilance angle in a case.
10. The purpose of vigilance activity is not to reduce but to enhance the level of managerial efficiency and effectiveness in the organisation. Commercial risk taking forms part of business. Therefore, every loss caused to the organisation, either in pecuniary or non-pecuniary terms, need not necessarily become the subject matter of a vigilance inquiry. Thus, whether a person of common prudence, working within the ambit of the prescribed rules, regulations and instructions, would have taken the decision in the prevailing circumstances in the commercial/operational interests of the organisation is one possible criterion for determining the bona fides of the case. A Positive response to this question, may indicate the existence of bona- fides. A negative reply, on the other hand, might indicate their absence.
11. Absence of vigilance angle in various acts of omission and commission, does not mean that the concerned official is not liable to face the consequences of his actions. All such lapses not attracting vigilance angle would, indeed, have to be dealt with appropriately as per the disciplinary procedure under the service rules. “
12. The Andhra Pradesh Vigilance Commission is, the external Agency, which enforces Vigilance cases, keeping the above definition in view. It has been observed that in recent times, a feeling has developed among right thinking people, that many guilty big persons are going free, while many small employees are being harshly punished.
13. A Judge of the Supreme Court, recently, expressed his exasperation over the extent of corruption in this country when, in an obiter dicta, he said, that the corrupt should be hung from the lampposts. His observations, were, quickly, followed by apprehensions, albeit in a lighter vein, that there may not be enough / lampposts in this country to meet the needs. Thus, corruption is a reality in our life and has reached a stage where it is eating into the vitals of the nation. As is often said, today corruption is being perceived as a low risk and high profit activity. The internal check of conscience and moral values has almost become extinct with most, if not, with all, and the only course left is external control which Govt. has to exercise to make corruption a high risk activity. The credibility of the system can be restored only if the guilty are punished quickly and adequately.
14. When corruption is sought to be or at least controlled, there is a need to adopt all possible stringent measures, permitted by law. It is for this reason, that the Parliament has thought it appropriate to provide a minimum punishment of one year for the offences under the PC Act 1998, as was also the case in the earlier P.C.Act, 1947.
Such insistence reflects the Parliament’s resolve, to meet the evil of corruption with a strong hand and send signals of deterrence. It is, therefore, the obligation of the disciplinary authority to impose a penalty consistent with the magnitude of misconduct imputed and the evidence in support thereof.
15. Also, quite often, even in a departmental inquiry, though charges relate to departmental misdemeanor and negligence in the discharge of duties, such negligence in the shape of failure to take some action or breach of departmental rules, attributable to
corrupt motives or malafides, even though it may be difficult, if not impossible, to prove actual malafidies, though such corrupt motives, come into play in most of the cases, in which some pecuniary advantage has been given, to some contractor etc. at the cost of Govt., it was laid down, as early as, in the year 1964, by Govt. (vide Memo No.3037, GAD, dated 26.11.1964), that in all such cases, involving substantial loss to Government and corresponding gain to the contractor etc., severe punishment, which should generally be dismissal, should be awarded, even though charge, which is established, relates to only negligence or breach of departmental rules. The importance of awarding adequate punishment in proven cases of corruption, cannot be over emphasized.
Administrative consideration, should not be allowed, as a general rule, to influence the action to be taken in such cases. No punishment, other than that of dismissal, should be considered as adequate in proven cases of bribery and corruption. It is this salutary principle that was, in due course, incorporated as Proviso to cause (X) of Rule 9 of the APCS (CCA) Rules 1991, and reiterated by Govt., in G.O.Ms.No.2, GAD., dt. 4.1.1999.
16. Secondly, as the Proviso to Clause (X) of Rule 9, clearly, indicates, in a corruption case, the amount of money involved or the status of the person involved, are immaterial as the law, dearly stipulates, that in every such case, penalty of removal from service or dismissal from service, shall be imposed and any other penalty can be considered only in exceptional cases and for special reasons to be recorded in writing by the disciplinary authority. Considerations, such as, the small amount involved or a lower level post, held by the accused officer are, totally extraneous, to the issue of awarding punishment. It is the misconduct. Unbecoming of a Govt servant, that is relevant, not the relative status of the govt. servant involved.
17. In case of Secretary to Panchayat Raj Department v/s Mohd.Vikramuddin (1995) (8) SLR SC 816, the Supreme Court held, that the charge of misappropriation and misusing government funds of Rs.3965.60 proved against the respondent, is sufficient to’ warrant to dismissal of respondent from the service. There are, any number of such rulings of Supreme Court, wherein, it was time and again reiterated, that where
corruption is proved, any penalty short of dismissal, would be inadequate and no other lesser punishment can be contemplated in such cases, irrespective of the amount or rank of the govt. servant involved.
18. The advice of Commission, in regard to the penalties, against the guilty public servants, has always been guided by the above principles, reiterated over the years, by the Courts as well as Governments from time to time. The endeavour of the Commission, while tendering its advice, was to ensure that the penalty is proportionate to the misconduct and serious cases of corruption and other types of criminal misconduct which merit dismissal, do not escape from adequate and proper punishment.
19. Transparency International ranked India 70th, with a score of 3.3 (in a range of 10-(highly clean to) O-(highly corrupt) in its Corruption Perceptions Index survey, 2006. It is a matter of conjecture, where A.P. stands in this regard, within India. This Commission’s own observation, however, is that there has been perceptible rise in both intensity and spread of corruption in the state over a period of time. Commission’s humble view is that this rise, to a large extent, is attributable to the quality of check, or lack of it, on the part of the Government I disciplinary authorities. The dilution, in approach to the problem, would be evident from the steady increase in the deviations from the advice of the Commission in the last few years. As a percentage, they were 14% during 2004-06, whereas, they were negligible in the earlier years. The details are in Commission’s files and in departments’ files. Commission would like to reiterate that it has no illusions as to its own role and is fully conscious of the ultimate repository of disciplinary power, namely, Government. Nevertheless. it is the duty of this Commission to place on record the magnitude of the problem and inadequacy of the response to meet the threat.
20. There has been, all round deterioration, in the governance in the country and this State is no exception. The Ministers who were earlier knowledgeable persons themselves have vanished and in their place have joined Ministers who have their own
Agenda and their own interests. All higher civil services, described collectively, as AII India Services have, now, got members most of whom account themselves with no credible performance, but discredited ones. Large number of them lack integrity. Large number of them run helter skelter for lucrative posts. What are lucrative posts, each one of them knows. Their image, prestige or integrity, all have reached rock bottom. When these are generalities, as in other walks of life, there are, also, 15-20% men of integrity. There are also 15-20% very capable men with capacity to work and deliver goods. But, there is mismatch in postings. The politicians here manipulate. They want officers, who serve their interests and there are many members who sub serve the interests of politicians.
21. When All India Services Act was passed in 1951 and various rules and regulations were formed, very high standards were expected from them. The role model was Indian Civil Services, who had a very high reputation. But in the last 60 years, where the administrative standards of administration run by All-India Services has reached, rock bottom, people have lost confidence in ‘Men who Rule India’. Now coming to the provisions of punishment, the present set of politicians in power, particularly of ruling parties and also very large number of employees in various Government services and quite a few persons who are locals feel, that Vigilance Commissioner has been very harsh, unduly harsh, and he is a person who enjoys at the misery of others. Hence, he recommends very harsh punishment and he lacks human touch and sympathy. The Vigilance Commission is a statutory body, it is not an organization where Vigilance Commission can run it and argue about the quantum of punishment or bargain for lesser punishment, with the guilty officers or with M.L.As./M.Ps. for lesser punishments. That privilege they do not have, with the Vigilance Commissioner. Further, the Vigilance Commissioner is very thorough with the provisions of Acts, rules, regulations, Court judgments, governing various aspects of Civil Services. For example, in the rules, it is provided that when a criminal case is booked against an employee, the final orders on punishment and order of reinstatement into service will only be issued when a criminal
case is finally disposed off in a court of law and not before that. If some one faces disciplinary case and the department referred to Tribunal for Disciplinary Proceedings or to Commissioner of Inquiries for Inquiry, in all such cases, final order about the reinstatement into service from suspension and about punishment, can, only, be issued in the final order disposing off the case. Till that time, the officer is supposed to be guilty official, and he cannot be reinstated into service. But the politicians running the State and the AIS officers are, blissfully, ignorant of highly relevant and desirable provisions. The officials who are trapped or involved in criminal cases and misconduct, run to officers, peshis of Ministers and officials of Chief Minister’s office for getting, first, reinstated into service, pending finalization of criminal and disciplinary cases. Now, reinstatement of an employee, suspended for his involvement in corruption, is empowerment of the criminal! guilty official. Thus, if an MVI is under suspension or an Excise Superintendent or a Dy. Commercial Tax Officer or CTO, is under suspension, he is prevented from discharging his duties. For maintenance of his family, he is sanctioned subsistence allowance. But, he is very much aggrieved because his income i.e. extra income, which was sizeable compared with salary, is stopped. Hence, he goes round to see that he is reinstated into service. The Ministers are very keen and cooperative with such officials. But, I.A.S. officer, advising the Minister, does not or if, does, does not advise the Minister what it is. They also do not understand that ill reputed to, the Government is brought if, by an ill-reputed official, who is under suspension, is reinstated into service. This is the present position.
22. Now in various rules and regulations, Government have issued instructions, from time to time, covering various aspects of official conduct. For example, there are instructions on award of punishment to be imposed on delinquent officers i.e. guilty officials. Initially, in the year 1964, and subsequently in 1975 and still later in 1988 many instructions were reissued on consolidated basis. All these instructions were consolidated. The instructions are as follows:
“Instructions were issued, among others, that in proven cases of bribery and corruption, no punishment, other than that of dismissal, be considered adequate and if any lesser punishment is to be awarded, in such cases, adequate reasons should be given for it in writing. In the Memo. No.1718/Serc.C/75-1, dt.22.11.1975 of G.A.D., instructions, were issued to the effect that the officers convicted in Criminal Cases, should, normally, be dismissed from service. The above instructions have been reiterated for strict compliance, vide, Circular Memo.No.3824/Ser.C/98-2, dt.9.2.1998. It is the earnest endeavour of the Government, to ensure a clean and transparent administration. To have this policy transcended to the grass root level, it is keenly felt that the officers with doubtful integrity and involved in criminal offences shall be weeded out in order to ensure efficient functioning. To ensure clean and effective administration, the Government direct that in all proved cases of misappropriation, bribery, biqamy, corruption, moral turpitude, forgery and outraging the modesty of women. the penalty of dismissal from service shall be imposed. The Departments of Secretariat. Heads of Departments and District Collectors are requested to follow the above orders scrupulously.”
23. Similarly, in misappropriation cases. large number of instructions were issued. Finally, in G.O.Ms.No.25, General Administration (Services. C) Department, dt.3.2.204 consolidated G.O. running into 9 pages were, issued. They, totally, brought together all aspects of action to be taken in misappropriation cases. In short, all this, indicates, how, action against officials, involved in criminal cases and those involved in misappropriation cases and similarly how departmental Inquiries in these cases have to be proceeded with etc.
For example: “Punishments to be awarded in proved cases of misappropriation:
24. There is wide disparity, in the scales of punishment meted out in misappropriation cases. The question of prescribing uniform scale of punishment, in such cases has been considered by Govt. It has been decided that, ordinarily, cases of
proven misappropriation would justify, nothing less, than, dismissal from service and action should accordingly, be taken. The minimum penalty to be imposed in all proved cases of misappropriation (in addition to the recovery of amount misappropriated) is dismissal from service. In case of a retired employee, the penalty should be withholding of entire pension and gratuity permanently or withdrawal of pension in the case may be besides recovery of the misappropriation / loss amount. There may, however, be rare cases where in the circumstances, such as trivial amount, short duration, and immediate payment on detection, all of which may raise a presumption, that it was an error in accounting, which may justify a different punishment. A clear distinction should be drawn between the case of ‘delayed remittance’ and ‘misappropriation’ having regard to the fact that in proved cases of misappropriation, no punishment short of dismissal is normally justified and, accordingly, the case of delayed remittance need not always be classified for the purpose of audit as a case of misappropriation.
25. An officer, who is convicted by a Criminal Court for the offence of misappropriation or fraud, should be dismissed from service without waiting for filing of an appeal or its outcome. Such action would be taken notwithstanding suspension of sentence of Appellate Court. It shall not be necessary to consult the Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission for taking action to dismiss the officer on the grounds of conviction in a Court of Law. In the case of an officer, who in the meantime has retired, his pension and gratuity shall be withheld or where it has already been sanctioned, his pension should be withdrawn. The officer, who fails to enforce those instructions promptly, will be held responsible for any loss to the Government on account of avoidable payment of subsistence allowance or provisional pension, as the case may be.
Consultation with Vigilance Commission
26. In all cases of misappropriation, the Vigilance Commissioner, has to be consulted, in accordance with the procedural instructions of the Commission.
27. It was against this background, Sri Ram Chandra Samal, the Vigilance Commissioner, who demitted office dealt each case, where charges are proved, evidence was available, findings of inquiry, views of Department, loss caused to Government, illegal gain to the officials / or non-officials including to Contractors ‘mens rea’ on the part of employees / officers, deliberate, malafide or negligence, all these aspects are considered and then final punishment, commensurate with misconduct, criminal activity, are recommended by Vigilance Commissioner. Over the years, high degree of expertise has been developed by the Vigilance Commission in these matters. There is vast literature built from June 1964, when the Vigilance Commission was established. Then, there are High Court and Supreme Court judgements, which are received in Vigilance Commission, and they are also gone into by Chief Legal Advisor and those cases are also taken into view and then only in the light of those materials, advice are rendered from time to time. Those who are ignorant of these, such persons without proper discussions, feel that Vigilance Commissioner is very harsh and is very unsympathetic and is heartless person and Government have all powers, not accept the advice of Vigilance Commissioner, though all those who hold such views are ignorant persons. Democracy Is Rule by Law. All are creatures of law and governed by Law. No body is above law. No body has discretion, power, which is absolute discretion and absolute power. All those persons who do not understand must understand this, at least, now. Freedom is not licence to kill; with it goes great responsibility.
1. G.O.Ms.No.522, G.A. (Special. C) Dept., dt.21.7.2007.
2. Website of Commission: http://apvc.ap.nic.in
3. G.O.Ms.No.421, G.A. (Spl. B), dt.3.8.1993.
4. G.O.Ms.No.147, G.A. (Spl. B), dt.5.5.2000.
5. U. O. Note No.235/SpI.B/2001-1, G.A.D., dt.26.7.2001 (Circular No.397 of
Vigilance Manual Volume-II)
6. D. O. letter No.25270/VC.H1/2006, dated: 24.3.2006.
7. Note to Chief Secretary to Govt. 30.5.06.
28. The A.P. Vigilance Commission, is, broadly patterned, on the lines of Central Vigilance Commission. Briefly, the functions of Central Vigilance Commission are, (i) to cause an investigation to be made into any act of public servant involving corruption,
lack of integrity, misconduct, misbehavior or malpractice; (ii) to consider the investigation report and to advise the disciplinary authority, about the type of proceedings to be initiated (first advice); (iii) to nominate Commissioner for Departmental Inquiries, to conduct disciplinary inquiry, if misconduct is, prima-facie considered grave enough for awarding major penalty: and (iv) to advise the disciplinary authority about the penalty, if any, to be imposed (second advice). The Central Vigilance Commission accords vigilance clearance for appointment of Zonal Level Vigilance Officers and Board Level Vigilance Officers.
29. The Commissioner for Departmental Inquiries are under the administrative control of Central Vigilance Commission, and the Central Vigilance Commission has also the benefit of advice of Chief Technical Examiners Unit, which gives technical advice on engineering issues. A.P. Vigilance Commission has adopted the same pattern, more or less.
30. During my years in the Commission, a Chief Engineer, Sri M.Narasimha Rao, was posted as Chief Technical Officer. The posting of the Chief Engineer, helped, immensely, to examine ACB and Vigilance and Enforcement reports, involving Engineers and Contractors in the execution of works of Irrigation, Roads & Buildings. The fact that his examination of issues is appreciated shows that there are a few honest men of integrity in Engineering Departments also, as in every walk of life. Earlier, technical advice was not available to the Commission. As Chief Legal Adviser to Commission Sri C.Rambabu, Retired as District and Sessions Judge joined. Commission was also provided additional budget to modernize the office by supply of new. furniture, vehicles, extra space etc., after I joined as Vigilance Commissioner.
31. Commission is having a running battle with the Departments of Government to fill up the Chief Vigilance Officers posts.
32. All the Departments of Secretariat were advised that the proviso under sub-rule 2 (b) of Rule 6 of APCS (DPT) Rules, 1989, provides that the Government after receipt of report from the Tribunal for Disciplinary Proceedings, shall consult the A. P Vigilance Commission, in regard to the course of further action to be taken and take the advice into consideration before orders are passed. In all cases, final report of Tribunal for Disciplinary Proceedings shall be sent to the A.P. Vigilance Commission in duplicate along with relevant records by the Administrative Departments of Secretariat for its advice both before arriving at provisional conclusion and after receiving representation of the delinquent officer and before arriving at a final conclusion in respect of the penalty to be imposed on the Government Servant concerned. The Andhra Pradesh Vigilance
Commission will examine the record and forward the same to the administrative Department concerned with advice as to further course of action. So also, in the cases of inquiry by the G.A. (Commissioner of Inquiries) by Department concerned or by the Departmental Officers, after conclusion of inquiry, the Department concerned, I. forward to the Vigilance Commission the report with its conclusion, together with relevant records for advice. Forwarding of record of inquiry is vital for tendering advice by the Commission and it is not possible for the Commission to tender advice without examining the record of inquiry.
33. An interesting case which happened in Revenue Department of Secretariat is brought to the notice of all, which is a live case, which is still existing, right in the seat of Government. Commission’s advice is reproduced below:
“D.O.lr.No.39391NC.C2/2006-1, dated: 19.5.06
Dear Sri Jauhari,
Sub: Vanishing of cash of Rs.16, 510/- along with the report of Tribunal for Disciplinary Proceedings, from the custody of the officials of Revenue Department – etc.
Kindly refer to the above subject. It was reported in a daily of 16.5.06, that report of inquiry in five cases along with material objects of the case, among other things, containing cash of Rs.16, 510/-, which was handed over by the officials of the Tribunal for Disciplinary Proceedings, to the concerned in Revenue Department, is not known on what date, all these records and cash were handed over to the Section Officer / Asst. Section Officer concerned, by the officials of TOP. In the mean while, a letter from the Chief Vigilance Officer, Sri V.Veeresham, addressed to the Station House Officer of Saifabad Police Station was issued and a copy of the same has been marked to Commission. It is seen from the perusal of the letter of Chief Vigilance Officer of Revenue Department that Rs.16, 510/- in various denominations, which was in the custody of AO vanished from his almirah. It is not known when exactly tainted amount vanished and whether all records including the reports of TOP vanished or not. It is also not indicated on which date the records along with cash were received from TDP and why the concerned Section i.e. SO/ASO did not promptly take further action for returning the money to ACB.
Without the knowledge of the concerned staff, unknown culprits, cannot snatch the tainted amounts from the locked almirah, key of which was with them. Three cases covers are available but money was found missing. It one case cover with money, was missing. It is the responsibility of Section Officer and A.S.O. to safeguard the tainted amount till the amounts are properly returned to the A.C.B. The Chief Vigilance Officer
and the concerned Assistant Secretary should also watch and take steps for the safe custody and return of tainted amounts. This is a very serious case, which has occurred and this has totally exposed the deterioration in the functioning of the Secretariat. I request you to, immediately, suspend concerned SO / ASO and institute departmental preliminary inquiry and thereafter, initiate departmental disciplinary action against staff. Criminal proceedings, of course, will take its own course and time. Our experience is that criminal cases are taking too long by Police even to complete investigation. Action taken may be intimated to Commission.
34. Till now, no real action is taken by Government.
Factors Hindering quick action in disciplinary cases and suggestions for improvement to the Systems (Systemic improvements) made from time to time by Vigilance Commissioner
35. Over the years the number of cases involving corruption, misappropriation, embezzlement etc., crimes covered under various laws, are on an increase and efficiency of Departments dealing these cases of vigilance are on the decrease in the reverse direction. The more important the Department and is having large number of employees, discipline and maintaining integrity, speed in administration, is more important. The departments concerned are loosing grip over administration and employees more quickly. This is evident in the activities of the Departments like Irrigation and CAD, Transport, Roads and Buildings Department, P.R. & R.D. Dept., Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department, Social Welfare and Tribal Welfare Departments, Medical and Health Department, Agriculture and Cooperation Department, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Department, etc. In these departments, over the years, budgets are being enhanced tremendously and pressure is to spend the budgeted amount. The quality of execution is nobody’s business. The shortage of truly competent officers to man the highest levels in these departments and abundance of inefficient and corrupt officials has resulted in tremendous leakages in expenditure. The public money has gone to private pockets. On the other hand, there are revenue
earning departments like Commercial Taxes, State Excise, Registration and Stamps, Mines Department, etc. In these Departments though year after year, revenue has been enhanced sizably by giving big targets, corruption has entered into the very vitals of the Departments. The net result of all these, have been that the existing vigilance and anti corruption sections in various departments are over burdened. Since, the quality staff is rare in the Departments of Secretariat and Head of Department offices, with increased work load, there is extensive situation where the guilty are maneuvering and escaping easily. The investigating agencies like ACB and other vigilance agencies which are supposed to enquire and investigate into misappropriation of Government money / funds are, also depleted of quality staff and their efficiency has reached rock bottom level. They are under constant political pressure and threat. The Heads of these Agencies are, only, happy to close their eyes and ears. In such a situation, control over the administration has reached rock bottom and every body who has proclivities, not to work, misuse and misappropriate Government funds, make money from people who come and approach them to put up their papers as their work is pending, is exploited. The entire blame lies with the superior officers i.e. Chief Secretary. (You may say you know, but by your actions your are only KNOWN), Special Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and Secretaries to Government of Andhra Pradesh. The upper echelons of administration has collapsed.
36. Following from it, the A.P. Administrative Tribunal, has become very active. The Tribunals have very limited mandate. But a few members now are taking up all types of cases and passing all types of orders. The Tribunal is not manned by knowledgeable persons. It is only a rehabilitation centre for the retired bureaucrats and Judges and briefless Advocates. The quality of orders passed are abysmally, poor and they are passing all sorts of orders where they are not entitled to pass orders. There are ample number of Supreme Court judgments and decisions of High Courts, which define the jurisdiction of Administrative Tribunals. But that is not read even by the Members of Tribunal. This issue has been dealt with from, time to time, in Government. Thus, there
is increasing tendency to interfere, unduly, without jurisdiction, in the disciplinary cases, in the middle of progress and provide relief to the undeserving.
37. One such case is cited here. There is one Joint Registrar of Registration and Stamps in Revenue Department. His house was raided by ACB and he was kept in prison for about a month as he was arrested and remanded to custody. After a month or so, he came out of prison. Then, he approached APAT and submitted a representation in Tribunal stating that he has not been given postings on his return from Medical leave. The Tribunal, immediately, passed orders to give him postings. The Department also moved the file for giving postings and issued orders giving postings without referring to the Vigilance Commission. The department, without referring to ACB case, issued orders posting him in the office of Commissioner of Survey, Settlements, Hyderabad. It was, after this happened, the department’s file was requisitioned by Vigilance Commissioner and after perusing the entire history, again a straight note was circulated to Principal Secretary Govt., who realized the facts of the case, belatedly, and obtained orders in circulation to suspend him from service, pending finalization of disproportionate assets case against him filed by the ACB. This is one of several such cases, which has happened. The role of Departments’ lower officials, not excluding Secretaries also and of Administrative Tribunal can easily be judged and need not be further discussed. This is happening, every day, in every Department. Exception is rather rare than the Rules.
38. As stated above, the staff of Secretariat and Heads of Department, are active. In fact, the officials of the departments, advise the accused officials, to obtain favorable orders from the Tribunal and after orders of Tribunal are received, promptly, examine and orders obtained in circulation, of course, if palms are greased by the A.O. The orders of Tribunal are not contested by the Departments, in the Tribunal nor in High court. The Departments never file objections, counters, timely, indicating the restrictive nature of the APAT, as indicated in various Supreme Court orders and High Court orders which have been reduced in Memos and G.O. and issued from time to time as reference by various Departments. For example, the MA & UD Department, is foremost in this
category, under the leadership of the present Secretary, MA & UD. In a case of Municipal Engineer of Eluru Municipality, the CB CID, has launched criminal prosecution against him for tampering of records and causing loss to the tune of Rs.7.S lakhs. Hiding the facts, the Municipal Engineer, filed a petition in APAT, for release of pensionary benefits, in full. The Tribunal passed orders that it should be released within 4 weeks and his suspension period should be regularized as duty. The Department, without filing any review petition in APAT, though there is very serious embezzlement of Govt. funds and criminal cases pending against him implemented the orders of APAT for which it was eagerly awaiting. There are many such cases. In another case dealt with in the same MA & UD Department, when ACB and Vigilance Commissioner recommended to suspend a Revenue Inspector, at Vijayawada Municipal Corporation, who was trapped for demanding and accepting one thousand rupees, the MA & UD Department, while issuing necessary instructions to Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Vijayawada and Commissioner Municipal Administration for taking action, marked a copy of the instructions to the guilty Revenue Inspector and he immediately went to APAT and obtained orders not to suspend him from service. The Department was very happy with the situation. These are typical cases in the functioning of the MA & UD Department. Same is the case with Irrigation & CAD Department, Revenue Department, P.R. Department, and T.R. & B Dept., to cite a few and many other Departments in State Government.
39. Another bottleneck in the functioning of Vigilance Commission is non appointment of Chief Vigilance Officers and Vigilance Officers in various Departments of Government. Not only they are not appointed, there are cases of unfit persons being appointed, as C.V.Os. In fact, this category of officers are more in number than competent persons who deserve to be appointed as C.V.O. Some important Departments do not have full time Chief Vigilance Officers, as required under Government instructions issued, from time to time. The Chief Vigilance Officers are eyes and ears of Vigilance Commissioner. They are required to be familiar with service rules, conduct rules, D & A Rules, Vigilance Cases, etc. But we do not find such types of
officers are appointed as C.V.Os. in any Department. Somebody, may land in that post by default. Now there are several departments like Energy, Housing Department, Revenue Department, T.R. & B Dept., W.D. & C.W. Department, where there are no Chief Vigilance Officers for name’s sake even. On the other hand, important Departments where there are name’s sake Chief Vigilance Officers, they are not fit for anything and they are appointed as C.V.Os., to fulfill the formalities only. Quite a few Indian Forest Service Officers, who are unacceptable in the Forest and Environment Department, whom the Principal CCF finds as redundant in the Department, their services are offered to Secretariat Departments and they are appointed as C.V.Os., without even prior intimation or consent of V.C. as per existing instructions. Thus, the eyes and ears of Vigilance Commissioner, are closed. On the other hand, there are awfully corrupt persons who are appointed as C.V.Os. To get rid of them is a big task. One such case is that of Sri K.Devanand, who played havoc as CVO of Revenue Department and whom with great difficulty, V.C. got shifted out of Revenue Department. There are other unknown C.V.Os, who have come on inter-cadre deputation and variety of specimens, who do not even know what is ‘vigilance angle’. Hence, it is very easily imaginable the difficulty in tackling vigilance cases.
40. Another big problem faced by me, is lack of quick and proper disposal of disciplinary cases, coming within the purview of Scheme of Vigilance Commission, due to shortage of efficient officers with capacity for hard work in the departments itself, particularly, in important departments, where there are large number of disciplinary cases pending for years. There is shortage of efficient, hard working, honest officers in Secretariat cadre to man these posts, which is becoming a bottleneck. IAS officers are not available for posting in Secretariat, though there are group of posts of Additional I Joint I Deputy Secretaries to Govt., for 29 officers, in the IAS cadre of A.P. Whatever IAS officers are working in this group of cadre post, usually, they are working reluctantly and their record of service, at least, from integrity angle, is not above board. In the interest of good administration, disciplinary cases should be disposed off, timely, and should not drag on for years, which results in officers not found guilty suffering long and
guilty officials not being punished. The punishments after retirement are meaningless. Further, as people are aware, unnecessarily a controversy is raised that, officers who are retired are being punished with severe cut in pension, etc. This is happening because officers who indulged in serious misconduct are, some how managing to drag on the disciplinary cases for years and in the meanwhile, not only they are indulging in corrupt practices, they are getting promotions, which is totally against the sound administrative norms.
41. To avoid this type of situation, the only alternative, to me appears, is to post half-a-dozen selection grade / special grade / Deputy Collectors or officers of equivalent rank, in other services, known for their efficiency and integrity, as C. V. Os in important departments, like Revenue, PR, Engineering Departments, etc. This can be done by keeping half-a-dozen cadre posts in abeyance, from the group posts of 29 mentioned above and creating in lieu thereof, ex-cadre posts designating them as OSDs. There will be no grievance of any employee for this, because these posts are meant for IAS officers and IAS officers are not willing to be posted against those posts.
42. The Chief Secretary to Govt. in note dt.21.3.2006 was requested to take necessary steps and obtain orders of Government so that these posts of Chief Vigilance Officers are filled by persons known for their integrity and competence from any department on deputation basis and thousands of disciplinary cases pending in various departments are properly processed. Almost 8,000 to 10,000, cases are pending which have “vigilance angle” and also many cases which should be circulated to Vigilance Commissioner are not being circulated by the departments promptly resulting in avoidable delay for years in disposal of such cases. This does not augur well for administration. But not even an interim reply was received by Vigilance Commissioner on the above note from GAD. GAD. is run like any other department.
43. But what is most distressing is disinterest of Chief Secretary, Special Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, Secretaries to Govt. and important Heads of Departments to appreciate the important role of Vigilance Commissioner, in curbing corruption, mal-administration, misappropriation, wastage of funds, etc., etc. There is
no appreciation of the work of Vigilance Commissioner by Government itself. In spite of repeated notes sent requesting higher agencies Peshi office of Chief Minister proposing to fill up posts with competent retired persons, as serving suitable persons, are not available, the officers are sitting over these proposals with a view to teach a lesson to the preent Vigilance Commissioner. One such officer in the Chief Minister’s office is the Principal Secretary to Chief Minister himself whose dose relation, the father-in-law of his daughter, who indulged in rampant corruption, facing several charges, but actions are hushed up. Though he is Chief Engineer in Tribal Welfare Department, he is not fit to hold the post of Attender. Thus, I cannot blame the Dy. Secretaries, Joint Secretaries, Additional Secretaries only of the Departments concerned and other petty officials who are being appointed as Chief Vigilance Officers or Vigilance Officers for the unacceptable state of affairs in various Departments.
44. Another great handicap noticed, during my three years of working as Vigilance – Commissioner of A. P. State Vigilance Commission, is non-cooperation of Government in quick disposal of inquiries pending against guilty officers. Timely disposal of vigilance cases, imposing adequate punishment on guilty officials is an inherent part of effective and corruption-free administration. This is the right of every citizen to see that the guilty is punished promptly, so that others do not indulge in such practices. This is Inalienable Human Rights incorporated in Human Right Declarations, by the United Nations. It ensures corruption free Administration. Now, against this background, Vigilance Commissioner, from time to time is entrusting a number of cases to be inquired into, by the Commissioners of Inquiries, posted at his disposal. At present, there are 5 of them three serving IAS officers and two retired officers – one of whom was a DGP to State – Govt. and other as Director of Works Accounts in Projects Department. The Commissioners for Inquiries, except Sri S.Satyanarayana, are to be posted on recommendations of Vigilance Commissioner and without his recommendation, against his will, they cannot be appointed / posted. As on 28.7.2007, there are may be 450
cases, pending for inquiries, some of them for years. There are variety of reasons why progress is very slow. Most important of this is, lack of cooperation from the Charged
officers, from the Departments concerned and various brakes are applied by the Departs to protect them to slow the progress of inquiries. This has come at a very joyful time to corrupt officers for delaying the inquiries and getting promotions in the meanwhile. Three such prominent cases are that of one Sri Jayaprakash Reddy of Excise Department; one Mr.Raju of Commercial Taxes Department and one Sri Prakash Rao, Engineer-in-Chief and who stating that the inquiry is delayed and that they may be promoted in the meanwhile, got promotion. It is the Right of the discerning public to ask the Government as to what it is and why this is happening and they have right to get explanation. All that I can say, as Vigilance Commissioner, is that this is one of the important reasons why corruption has been growing like wild fire. There is no premium for honest and hard working and the corrupt have all.
45. Realising the inability of the present Commissioners of Inquiries to dispose of cases, timely and effectively, the Vigilance Commissioner, in his letter dt. October, 2005, requested the Government to create Regional Commissioners of Inquiries who will be entrusted with inquiries of officers of districts / officers of regional level so as to ensure quick disposal of Inquiries, at local level, without any inconvenience to the Charged Officers and without any loss of time and loss of money by way of TA & DA. Such a system of Regional Commissioners of Inquiries exists in Tamilnadu. There are Regional Commissioners in quite a few places in Tamilandu. After studying the system, operating there, the proposal was sent to Government to reorganize the system of Commissioners of Inquiries and to start with three Commissioners of Inquiries at Guntur / Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and at Kurnool, so that disciplinary cases against officers of those areas are transferred and quickly disposed off. It was suggested that 3 posts of Commissioners of Inquiries, may be shifted to those three places and Collectors can be requested to provide accommodation and supporting staff. The GAD, vide letter No.568/spl. C/2005, Dt.20.12.2005, informed me that this has been examined in consultation with Finance and the proposal for creating three posts of Regional Commissioner is not acceptable for the present. This speaks of the high level examination by the Special Chief Secretary to Govt., Finance and GAD itself. The proposal was again renewed by the Vigilance
Commissioner, vide, letter dt.31.1.2007. This proposal would have ensured quick disposal of inquiries at no extra cost. The Charged Officers would have been glad to accept it, as a full time Commissioner of Inquiries, will hear the cases on day-to-day basis. This would have relieved the departmental officers of patronage, who make inquires a farce and extract their pound of flesh and sit over inquiries. This simple suggestion is indeed not appreciated by Special Chief Secretary to Govt., Finance.
46. Another valuable suggestion, given to Chief Secretary to Government is to tone up administration, has ended with the letter being put to dustbin. There is a non functional Committee, constituted by Chief Secretary to Govt., whose members do not know what are contents of the G.O. or orders constituting the Committee. A copy of the letter is self-speaking, which is at Annexure-III.
47. Most of the Secretaries to Government, including the Chief Secretary, are not aware of the scheme of Vigilance Commission. . Thr scheme of Vigilance commission is based on the report of Sri K. Santhanam Committee, 1964, and it was reissued from time to time. There are 4 volumes brought out by this Vigilance Commission in the year 2OOO which is the commendable, monumental work, done by my predecessor Sri C.R. Kamalanathan, IAS (Retd.). But, unfortunately, no one knows the contents of these 4 volumes. Only, various State Government departments dealing in vigilance cases, now and then, request me for supply of these volumes. Knowing that the situation is very bad, in my letter dt.21.3.2006, I requested the then Chief Secretary to Govt. to invite me to attend one of the Secretaries’ Committee meetings to bridge the communication gap, which is periodically convened by the Chief Secretary so as to give me an opportunity to explain various aspects of vigilance work and establish a greater rapport between Vigilance Commissioner and principal functionaries of various Departments of Government. But there is .no response to my letter. The Vigilance Commissioner is treated as an outsider and it seems that government do not want him to interfere in their functions. A copy of the letter is at Annexure-IV for perusal.
ALL INDIA SERVICES OF ANDHRA PRADESH CADRE POSTED IN THE STATE GOVERNMENT AND MANNING VARIOUS IMPORTANT POSTS.
48. There has been sharp down fall in the standards of governance and administration all over the country and even in United Nations Organisation, New York, where Indians have introduced corruption. No wonder, there is sharp decline in the standards of governance in Andhra Pradesh. The hub of administration, that moves the wheels is All-India Services, particularly the Members of Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service. Baring a few exceptions in each service, as honest and competent, ideal persons, are still in all walks of life and in all services, in large or small measures, most of the Members of honorable service brought disrepute to themselves and to the service. This simple fact is proved statistically as the number of cases of complaints against these officers is growing day by day. The Chief Secretary is head of All-India Services in the State Government. Annexure-V, is a table generated by computer indicating the status of disciplinary cases and their numbers pending over the years and there are, no steps whatsoever, taken seriously for address the issues. The cases pending against important functionaries of each of three IAS., I.P.S. and I.F.S. is who is who, which is growing rapidly. Measures taken in the recent Years. to nullify the existing instructions that will help curbing maladministration and replacing it by a set of ineffective and defective guidelines without even understanding the implications of G.Os, instructions, issued which have deleterious effect on the health of administration.
49. There is a set of instructions governing discreet enquiries, regular enquiries by the Director General of ACB, A.P., Hyderabad. The summary of these provisions are that when a complaint is received against an All-India Service Officer, that appears to have some substance, the ACB, on its own or on the instructions of Vigilance Commission, can conduct some discreet enquiries so as to ascertain the true contents in the allegations. It is a well-known fact that l. A. S, IPS officers particularly in the field level, often, become unpopular with some middle men, brokers, politicians, as the officers do not act as per their wishes. Hence, they engineer false petitions to assassinate the character of the officers. Because of this, instructions are there to see that such type of petitions, should
not be encouraged as it will demolarise, sincere, honest officers, working in the field and encourage petition mongering. Hence, there is a provision for discreet enquiries. The intention behind the conduct of discreet enquiries, against even honest officers is to protect them from petition mongers. It is a different thing that those petitions are being utilized by some elements to collect price and blackmail the officers.
50. Discreet enquiries are an age-old practice provided in the Central Vigilance Commission Act and Rules; hence this practice was also prevalent in A.P.Government. The second stage of enquiry is Preliminary Enquiry. When the discreet enquiry shows, that there is substance in the allegations and it needs to be, regularly, enquired into, the A.C.B. submits a report to the Vigilance Commissioner in the case of All India Service Officers and important heads of Departments and then the Vigilance Commissioner recommends to Government, in GAD., headed by the Chief Secretary, to consider giving permission to ACB, for registering a case in police station of A.C.B. and conducting regular enquiry and submit report. This practice is- going on for several years. Final Reports of enquiry submitted by A.C.B. through Vigilance Commissioner’s advice, are considered by Government to initiate disciplinary action. This is how the enquiries on allegations are made against IAS officers for ages and it is the proper course as it. It protects undue harassment of honest officials and also helps in punishing guilty officials. The officers of All-India Services are Role Models’ for other officers. If their conduct is worthy of the position they occupy, then other officials will follow them and this will totally degrade the administration. Hence, these provisions.
51. Now one corrupt IAS officer, faced a regular enquiry, as recommended by Vigilance Commission based on the discreet enquiry report conducted by ACB, against him, which revealed that in several positions earlier like Director of Social Welfare, Commissioner of Fisheries, etc., he indulged in certain objectionable activities and there was substance in the allegations against him. This particular officer felt aggrieved as is expected of him. He tried to close the enquiry against him. In pursuance of this objective, he exerted pressure through local MLAS and took appointment with Chief Minister and misrepresented the facts. The Chief Minister, who has no time to verify the
facts, ordered that the A.C.B. should not have any powers to conduct discreet enquiries or Preliminary Enquiries against All-India Service Officers of A.P.cadre without the prior approval of the Chief Minister. The next day instructions were issued to this effect vide Memo.No.1018/C.D/2004. dt.21.12.2005 a copy is placed at Annexure-VI. The above instructions are totally unacceptable to the Vigilance Commissioner. One cannot throw away the baby with bath water. To protect one unscrupulous officer, the whole system is damaged. The Vigilance Commission vide Letter No.16462/VC/2007, dt.22.3.2007 addressed to Chief Secretary to Government, requested to issue revised instructions, may be perused. Suffice it to say, that there is no reply till date. Ritual of Filling or Non-Filling of Annual Property Returns:
52. Under sub-rule 7 of Rule 9 of A.P.Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964, every Government servant other than last grade government servants and Record Assistants, will submit every year his / her statement of movable / immovable properties exceeding Rs.20, 000/- in value of properties acquired or inherited by him / her or by his family members in the Performa prescribed (which has been prescribed by Government from time to time). Every year, in the month of January, this has to be submitted. Similar is the provision in the rules governing All-India Service Officers also, as also in Central Service Rules. In addition to above, Government can ask an employee to submit / file details of his properties, acquisitions, from time to time. This is a very potent instruction in the hands of Government to curb corruption. There is always Police Department to investigate into acquisition of properties, if there is any doubt about it. But this potent weapon in the rules book, is rendered totally ineffective. From time to time, the A. P. Vigilance Commissioner, have reviewed these provisions and given advice as to how to use this weapon to curb corruption. Unfortunately, the Departments of Government have rendered this weapon totally ineffective. The employees are not filing Annual Property Returns. Often, they take the false stand that they are filing Annual Property Returns to the concerned, but either they are misplaced by them or thrown away somewhere. The officer is also not giving reply when asked for. Both superior and which is at Annexure–
subordinate officials are hand-in-glove and whenever there starts an enquiry against an employee for corruption, his superior officer(s) promptly come to his rescue in most cases, unless there is account to settle. This is the situation in all enquiries even in disproportionate assets cases, disproportionate to the known sources of legal income. Thus, Annual Property Returns, when required are either not submitted or if submitted they are one for many year, which is manipulated.
53. Keeping in view, the above proposition, the Vigilance Commission recommended to make it effective after reviewing the provisions and its compliance or not, again and again. Commission, vide, letter No.19829/VC/2006-1, dt. 4.4.2006, requested the General Administration Department, to include certain instructions reviewing the procedure followed in filing of Annual Property Returns based on past experience. Earlier also, detailed letters were issued by the Vigilance Commissioner vide letter dt. 23.12.2003 on the same subject. Government have issued least useful circular instructions vide Memo.No.695jSer.Cj2006, dt.12.10.2006, a copy of which is enclosed as Annexure, for perusal. These instructions are very ridiculous, wherein it was stated that if some employees do not file Annual Property Returns they will be awarded penalty of “Censure”. This shows the total ignorance of rules position by the concerned who signed the instructions. Thereafter a letter was addressed to General Administration Department to revise the instructions so that it serves some purpose. As expected, no reply is received. A copy of the letter is at Annexure. Functioning of High Level Committee on Anti Corruption and High Level Committee on Sanction for Regular Enquiries and Discreet Enquiries. Headed by Chief Secretary to Govt.
54. These two Committees which were functioning well earlier have, of late, stopped to function, though there are several issues for consideration by the Committees. Non-Issue of revised instructions on so called issue of Meritorious I Commendation Certificates.
55. A copy of the letter addressed to Chief Secretary is reproduced here which is self-explanatory.
“It has been observed in Vigilance Commission that large number of employees who are facing disciplinary cases, either initiated by Anti Corruption Bureau or Vigilance and Enforcement Director or by the Department itself, are producing commendation certificates I awards as in Police Department, given to them, year after year. The previous Government did a great disservice to administration by issuing awards and commendation letters to all and sundry and most of them do not deserve it. It is not known whether the same procedure is being continued by the present Government. I request you to get the information collected and review this at the earliest and stop this practice. If awards I commendation certificates are to be given in recognition of service of an employees, then there should be proper assessment and it should be decided with definite criteria, by a Committee of senior most officers and definite reasons recorded. The Revenue Department I Commercial Taxes I Excise I Police Department have heaped awards for no justifiable reasons to employees in large numbers, to some employees many time, having no integrity of character, performance capacity, reputation for honesty and hard work and result. In view of the above, Commission, requests all guidelines on the subject, department-wise, be studied by a Committee consisting of serious thinking officers and revised guidelines worked out for issue of certificates.” But no reply has been received by the Vigilance Commission. A copy of the letter at Annexure -VII.
Several Superfluous Service Associations and their negative role on Administration:
56. There are plethora of associations and organizations of Government servants, which have reared its ugly heads in recent years. They have no other work except advocating the cause of corrupt, after charging a sizeable fee. It is high time that by a secret ballot method only one association be recognized. The leaders of Associations are not allowing disciplinary cases to be finalized at the earliest and they are creating stumbling blocks at every stage by moving from one peshi to another. The Vigilance commission is victim of these Associations.
a) Cases pending against All–India Service Officers.
b) General Administration Department instructions on examination of APAT / CAT orders.
c) Circulars of Central Vigilance Commission followed by A. P. Vigilance Commission.
Complaints Received In The Commission And Complaints Which Were Published In Newspapers Telecast On TV Channels, Involving Officials Of Government. Local Bodies. Corporations And Other Semi-Government Orqanisations Till Date.
57. Over the last few years, there has been steady increase in reporting complaints against Government machinery, quasi-government organisations who are not delivering goods in time and who are not loyal to the common man at the cutting edge level. This is a very distressing tendency on the rise. The Government of Andhra Pradesh issued Whistle Blowers Orders, which protects the identity of the complainant. This protection of identity of the complainant, (the identity of complainant cannot be disclosed) has also encouraged complaints of personal nature. The complainants request not divulge their identity to any body, else the officer against whom he makes the complaint trouble them. This is also partly correct. But there are various reasons as to why there is increasing number of complaints;
58. The statistics shows that, as on 1.4.2006 there were 1107 complaints, news paper reports or TV reports, pending enquiry and report etc. During the period till date, another 445 complaints, news paper reports, etc., which were taken up after scrutiny and selected by Commission, for further enquiry regarding its veracity. These complaints were referred to either ACB or V & E Directorate or to the Heads of Departments concerned or to concerned Secretariat Department as the case may be, for enquiry and report. Thus, there are more than 1471 such complaints due for enquiry and report. It is the experience in the Commission, that while the ACB, V & E directorate and heads of Department do not take much time in getting enquiries conducted and sending their detailed reports, on which further action is ordered by the Vigilance Commission, Complaints referred to Secretariat Departments, makes a very slow journey and takes years to get response, as the complaints sent to Secretariat Departments are forwarded
to their subordinate offices or some times even forwarded to the same officer against whom the complaint is made. Thus, the entire purpose and paper work becomes a waste. It has been analysed in the Commission that for 5 to 7 years, reports have not been received because reports are delayed by the field level offices, which may be 7 times below the Secretariat Department. The complaint petition even passes 14 down I up stages and ultimately the officer against whom the complaint is received might have either retired from service long back or got promotion or left the job for some other reasons. Thus, the entire paper exercise is becoming fruitless. This has become the order of the day.
59. Some of the important complaints received against very responsible officers and summary of it in a nutshell are also mentioned. This is done for purpose of analysis of the complaints. (‘Viceroy’s Journal by Lord Curzon makes very beautiful reading.)
60. The sharp rise in receipt of complaints, in recent years, is due to failure of government machinery in redressal of grievances of people at the cutting edge level and no action is taken on the requests made by the general public at the lower level. The Revenue, Police and other developmental department officials, for various reasons are not able to adequately respond to the citizens grievances. There has been enormous increase in Governmental activities because of huge release of funds for various welfare schemes. On the other hand, the posts in the field level are not filled up for years together and there is shortage of officials to meet the demands of time. The administration is run by men in a welfare State. More and more number of men required to implement the welfare programmes. Let us talk about weaker sections housing programme. The Government has planned to construct one crore houses within a period of three years. But how many officials are available to execute and supervise this programme? The examples are multiple. Let us, take example of Irrigation Department. Engineers are just not available to supervise the constructions of programmes or of projects. This has given Contractors free hand. Speedy money is demanded for signatures by officials which is needed for release of funds. There has been stupendous increase in misuse I misappropriation of government funds, as Government is fixing up
physical targets, financial targets which is a statisticians nightmare. Hence, funds are being misused / misappropriated as they are to be spent in a limited time with budgetary problems to release, etc. Hence, the system itself is under great strain and it is unable to meet the expectations of modern citizens. Added to this, political pressure has built up enormously. The watchdog agencies though not increasing, are non-functional. TV and newspapers are highlighting, day in and day out, corruption, which is multiplying. The investigation agencies like Vigilance and Enforcement directorate, Anti Corruption Bureau and higher officials of the Departments are not in a position to cope up with the workload. There has been tremendous loss in prestige and authority of the members of various services including members of All-India Services. The judiciary is also under tremendous pressure with the increase in the number of cases, with inadequate facilities, they are not able to dispose off the cases. Hence, Courts are taking years to dispose of cases, even criminal cases. Appointment system itself collapsed. Courts give only judgments and no justice. Most of the judgments are not worth reading.
61. The net result is that the corruption has increased by leaps and bounds along with maladministration. Maladministration in Government functions, leads to loss of revenue, due to inefficiency of revenue earning departments. Vigilance Commission also has failed to rise to the people’s expectations. It is not able to deliver the goods, as it has no investigation agencies under its direct control. Government departments are busy with their priority items of work and they have no time to enquire into corruption and misappropriation of funds, etc. The Irrigation Department does not have sufficient number of Engineers to supervise Irrigation construction works. The Mines Department does not have enough staff to inspect legal/illegal mining, done in various parts of the State. Government land is encroached upon by the mighty and Government i.e. Revenue Department is looking like a helpless spectator. The revenue earning departments like Commercial Taxes, Excise are not able to bestow their attention on important business houses and business centers. As a result, they are harassing small businessmen to meet their targets. All-India Service officers have turned ineffective. They are feeling that the environment is not congenial to effective functioning. The
officials except, in stray cases, here and there, have joined the general police in large scale seeing that posts in general police are more lucrative. The D.G., A.C.B. expressed same feelings. Against sanctioned strength of 646 from Director General to Attenders and Sweepers, as on today, in position in A.C.B. 483 are in position. This is because of flight of officials from ACB, who are only police officials on deputation, to the general Police Department. A.C.B., unlike C.B.I., has no cadre of its own. This is one of the biggest drawbacks. Similarly, D:G., A.C.B. who is from I.P.S., without fixed tenure, is always looking for an important slot in General Police, which is a great handicap to the organization. It is on record, that in the name of requirement of their services for maintenance of law and order, the present Home Minister, Sri K Jana Reddy has telephoned me twice to clear files i.e. release of Dy. S.P., from ACB, who were on – deputation for less than a year from general Police Police Department. There are various cases including that of Mr. Mahipal Reddy, Dy. S. P., ACB, Vijayawada, who was taken back as Assistant Commissioner of Police, Rajendranagar, in disrespect of the instructions of Government contained in G.O.Ms.No.280, G.A. (Spl. C) Dept.; dt.20.9.2003. He was on ‘deputation with ACB, hardly for 9 months only. In five such cases, referred to me, Sri K Jana Reddy, was forced to telephone me, as I was not agreeing to the proposal. It is against all cannons of existing instructions contained G.O.Ms.No.280, General Administration (Spl. C) Dept., dt. 20.9.2003.
65. Another development in ACB is that cases are not booked against higher officials, but are booked against small ones. This covers trap cases and other variety of cases associated with trap, like disproportionate assets, surprise checks etc. Innocent ones are harassed only.
66. The former Director General, ACB, immediate predecessor of the present D.G., A.C.B., who was not only a man of high integrity but also a modern man, purchased modern gadgets, which are aides to investigation and very frequently used it only by Central Bureau of Investigation and as also recommended by C.B.I. to all anti corruption agencies. In fact, I have, extensively, discussed personally, with the then Central. Vigilance Commissioner, Mr. P. Shankar, who also advised me to discuss on details on
68. the conclusion, a right thinking person, will draw from the perusal of above is that in most of the districts, the A.C.B. staff is not interested in legitimate working and have settled down for something else. Whatever number is shown, in one district or other is either against very small lower employees, or personal score to be settled or as in Hyderabad range Dy. Superintendent of Police who was to retire at the end of July, had prepared a big list for collections and a few who did not oblige their houses were raided or surprise check conducted or trapped falsely and a big publicity was given damaging the reputation of the concerned.
69. There is abnormal delay in filing charge sheet by A.C.B. in the Special Courts of A.C.B. at Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Nellore and two at Hyderabad (altogether 5 Courts) over the years. There are several reasons for the above which need not be discussed. The Anti Corruption Bureau has given its own analysis of cases filed in Special Courts and delay (abnormal) in disposals. This analysis of A.C.B. is again, analysed, based on further detailed statistical analysis as follows:
There were 68 acquittals during 1.4.2005 – 31.3.2006.
There were conviction in 55 cases during 1.4.2005 – 31.3.2006.
Crucial study of the cases and circumstances show there is increase in filing complaints, detection of Criminal misconduct and filing charge sheets; but the disposal is not commensurate with the filing. There is abnormal delay in disposal of criminal cases. The A.C.B. cited C.C.1O/95 as a example. In this case Accused was present and copies of charge sheet and Documents were supplied to him on 30.9.1999. Charges were framed on 14.7.2000. For fixing trial schedule it was adjourned to 20.10.2000. But trial schedule was not fixed. After several adjournments, it was posted to 25.1.2006, for fixing trial schedule and summons were issued to L. Ws. on 27.1.2006. Trial commenced on 6.3.2006 and evidence was closed on 6.4.2006. Judgment was pronounced on 30.6.2006.
70. The delay appears to be in the take off. Though docket entries show that the court appear to be lenient and liberal in granting adjournments, what was the real cause for this delay we cannot say by simple reading of docket entries. During this period at least 2 to 3 Judges might have worked and handled the case. (Generally no Judicial Officer will be kept in the same post and station beyond 3 years). This case, in fact, suggests the lack of interest or attention by prosecution also. These things can be minimized if a little bit attention is shown by the prosecuting agency.
71. The report of the D.G., A.C.B. shows that there is increase in filing cases and disposal of cases. But it appears the disposal is not commensurate with filing. Of course there are failures in ACB cases. Among other causes, the main ones are; (1) not establishing sufficient courts; (2) Failure to appoint adequate Public Prosecutors; (3) Placing the P.P. in charge of two or more courts; (4) The Special Courts being entrusted with other type cases and not exclusively meant for disposal of A.C. B. Cases; (5) Delay tactics adopted by the Accused so as to win over the Prime Witnesses; (6) Failure of the Prosecution to resist the Delay as well as produce the relevant evidence in time and last but not the least; (7) lack of sincerity in pursuing Prosecution case
72. These things can be avoided:
1. By requesting the Hon’ble High Court to post sincere and hard working officers and keep them at least for two years.
2. High Court to give instructions to the Judicial Officers to give priority to A.C.B. Cases.
3. Request Government to establish sufficient courts / request the Hon’ble High Court to nominate a particular court to take up A.C.B. cases.
4. Make the Government to appoint one Public Prosecutor to each A.C.B. Court / or instruct the P.P. first to attend A.C.B. Court.
5. Establish two more A.C.B. Courts one at Warangal and another at Kurnool with P. Ps. and required staff (as suggested by A.C.B.).
6. A.C.B. (Prosecution) to be more diliqent in Pursuing the case.
73. Cases are not booked against general Police Officers; Traffic Police, etc., though they are knee deep in corruption. Even if, here and there, a case is booked, mostly against Police Subordinates, Home Department headed by Sri K Jana Reddy is ready to bail out the accused officer.
74. Some of the Deviations, that is Government honouring the guilty by deviating from the advice of A.C.B. /Vigilance and Enforcement Directorate / Vigilance Commissioner, category-wise, case number wise are noted below. The details and files are available in the Vigilance Commission.
(a) Lesser Penalties 1m Dosed In Serious Cases Of Criminal Misconduct Where No Lesser Punishment Than Dismissal Is Warranted
1. Case No.49714/VC.B1/2005 GAD.
2. Case No.329/VC.B2/2002
3. Case No.2236/VC.C1/2000
4. Case No.1279/VC.C2/2000 (Removal)
5. Case No.76345/VC.C3/2005
6. Case No.180/VC.C3/2003 Most, most shameless
7. Case No.703/VC.C3/2003 (Very Important)
8. Case No.305/VC.D1/2004 (Very Very Important)
9. Case No.619911/VC.D2/2006 (Very Very Serious. Sacrificing small fish at the cost of big ones – Injustice perfected)
10. Case No.10/VC.G2/2004
11. Case No.1773/VC/2000 (V. V. Important – Doctors – dismissal advised reduction in pay imposed.
12. Case No.551/VC.2003
iii) Lesser penalty proceedings recommended but action dropped – C. No.565/VC/ 200 3
(e) Non–Consultation And Dropping Further Action Thereby Rendering Existence Of A. P. Vigilance Commission Null And Void
i) C.No.1656/ VC.C1 /2003
ii) C.No.52/ VC /2003
iii) C.No.35/ VC /2002
iv) C.No.425/ VC /2001
v) C.No.715/VC /2002. Disagreement factors not appreciated and further action dropped.
vi) C.No.6458/ VC /2006
Non-consultation and reinstatement
vii) Very Very serious – Dropping further action and regularizing non-service to service C.No.1537/VC/1998
viii) Non appeal and dropping further action ACB case dt.24.7.98 C.No.1653/VC/2002
ix) Non-consultation and reinstatement of suspended person illegally. No action whatsoever taken. C.No.ll050/VC/2005
x) Dropping action without initiating disciplinary proceedings C. No.ll0 500 1/VC/2 005
xii) C.No.1357/2000 – 100% cut in pension advised, but 10% was imposed
xiii) C.No.83869/VC/2005 – dropping action in a case of malafide action proved.
xv) C.No.65912/VC/2006 – Dropping action without conducting inquiry as advised.
(f) Illegal Arbitrary Action Of Govt. – Withdrawal Of Prosecution And Dropping Further Action. In Other Words Issue Of Certificate Of Outstanding Performance And Suitable Reward Of Sending A.O. To Jail Which He Deserved.
ii) C.No.183 9/VC.C3/2 003
Hi) C.No.328/VC.D2/1998 Very Important
v) C.NO.1653/VC/2002 – V. V. Important case withdrawal of prosecution
arbitrarily, illegally not prosecuting the officer who should be in jail.
vi) C.No.11707/VC/2005 – V. V. Important case.
vii) C.No.187/VC/2000 – Case withdrawn from investigation by CB, CID arbitrarily.
viii) C.N0.454/VC/2004 – Issued punishment
xi) C.NO.1517/ VC.2001
xii) C.NO.33738/ VCj2005
xiii) C.NO.563/ VC /2000
xiv) C.NO.694/ VCj2000- V. V. Important
xv) C.NO.1732/ VCj2000
xvi) C.No.1837/ VCj2003
xvii) C.NO.IO14/ VCj2001
xviii) C.No.1116/ VCj1997
xix) C.No.225/ VCj2005
xx) C.No.125 3/ VC/2 002
xxi) C..No.7871/ VCj2001
(g) A.P.V.C. Recommended Prosecution Of Guilty Officials After Detailed Consideration, Based On Legal Opinion Of ACB And Principal District Judge Who Is Legal Advisor Of A.P.V.C., But The Department Concerned Without Assigning Any Valid, Legal Reasons Arbitrarily Passed Orders Dropping Prosecution And Ordered Departmental Action Which Is No Action:
i) C.No.47705/ VC.Cl /2005
ii) C.NO.11/ VC.CI /2004
iii) C.No.38/ VC.I /2004
An interesting case: (Miss.) K.Rama
75. This is a case of disproportionate assets and a very serious case of corruption by a senior officer. As per the instructions given by Government itself in Memo.No.554jSer.C/93-6, G.A. (Ser. C) Dept., dt.26.12.1994, in such cases when charge sheet is filed in the Court, the officer is required to be kept under suspension till the case is disposed off in the Court. This type of requests have arisen after the Revenue Department arbitrarily and without justification reinstated Sri Jayaprakash Reddy, Joint Commissioner, Prohibition & Excise, into service without consulting V.C., and A.C.B. If Government take this type of decision, there is bound to arise more and more such requests for reinstatement, particularly from senior officers and from those officers who could approach public figures. In short, this will only justify and favour, if one can mobilize influential persons’ support, and if one cannot do it, he will silently suffer.
Commission, therefore, totally disagree with the proposal to reinstate Kum. K. Rama Dy. Commission (CT). The so called suffering by her is only a pretension for reinstatement. A person who has amassed so much wealth need not suffer as pleaded by her. Selective favour without adequate justification be avoided. But finally, she was reinstated, but prosecution is not making progress. It is as if disciplinary case is ended with reinstatement into service.
Functioning Of Vigilance And Enforcement Directorate
76. At a time, when the Andhra Pradesh Vigilance Commission, was yet to be revived, a new organization called Directorate General of Vigilance and Enforcement, was set up by Government, vide G.O.Ms.No.269, General Administration Department, and dt.11.6.1985. In the beginning, this organization was vested with powers of Station House Officer, under section 2 col. (o)& (s) of Cr. P. C., enabling it to investigate economic / white collar crimes, coming within its ambit, committed by public servants.
This big organization was advertised as a big achievement of Government and is one of the ineffective organizations. In fact, mushrooming of such organizations are big waste of public resources. In this case, 561 / 644 persons are idling away their time or serving private interests. This organization is satisfied to have powers to enquire and submit useless reports. These reports contain nothing and are cared for nothing and were / are being consigned to waste paper baskets. Though a big role was anticipated of it, a mountain was dug up to find a rat. Like its illustrious organizations, like A.C.B., Criminal Investigation Department, the power conferred under I.P.C. to Station Officers in general Police, this organization also is a paper tiger. No police officer from Director General to constable on the streets is willing to work in this organization. This is the image of this paper organization to say the least. Government have done nothing; they sabotaged the organization, internally and externally. This is the policy and practice of Government.
Even established institutions like Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission, Anti Corruption Bureau, and myriads of other institutions are sabotaged internally / externally.
77. In the last years, my observation is that this organisation has consumed unnecessarily a lot of stationery and of course Government funds. The reports received from this orgnisation are not worth reading. For brief period, there was a very effective Director-General, who imparted high quality to the Enquiries conducted by this organization. But that is history. Though it is said history repeats, history also does not repeat. One has to read the book written by late E. H. Carr.
80. Graphic report above shows statistics about Vigilance & Enforcement. But it is like any other statistics, garbage processed and nothing of quality
81. Only item, worth mentioning, is that the present Director-General of Vigilance and Enforcement, when he joined the organization was very enthusiastic, but now he is sitting like a ‘sphinx’ Depository of Crimes and Saviour of Criminals.
82. We have, finally, arrived at the penultimate step, which is Home (Police) Department, headed, during my incumbency as Vigilance Commissioner, by dreaded Sri K Jana Reddy. His own antecedents should have been verified by intelligence agencies and report submitted to Chief Minister to consider whether he is a fit material, even in a
Cabinet system of democracy, to be appointed as Home Constitutional history. I have studied constitutions and major countries of the world including that of Great British.
Kingdom”, that of Japan, United States of America, France and, of course, of my own mother country, India. In the American system of democracy, the Ministers who are called Secretary of Defence or Secretary of Home Security, etc., are nominated by President of the United States of America. But the Senate debates their antecedents for days in exhaustive detail and then rejects or accepts the nomination. Nomination needs to be confirmed by the Senate. While we have British system of democracy, Britishers also have scrutiny system of antecedents. No criminal, in the British Parliamentary system, can occupy responsible position. Those who have seen debates inside British Parliament (White Hall), even in TV, can very well recollect. In India, politicization of criminals and criminalisation of politics has to be stopped in the interest of good governance and Andhra Pradesh is no exception.
83. The net result is all criminals in Police Department are immediately exonerated and certified as honest and innocent persons. The deviations list, which is very exhaustive, can be Defused for further details. Other Cess-Pools of Corruption and Corrupt activities of highest order:
a) Major Irrigation and Projects: History of Projects, in execution can be studied, reports obtained from Vigilance and Enforcement Directorate, can be perused. They are available in Vigilance Commission. Due to “Jalayagnam” moving in jet speed, the existing quality control mechanism in all Engineering Departments have been demolished. Alternative is illusion.
All have become contractors now. An imported I.A.S. Officer Chandra Bhanu is shining every man / woman or child has a model before him / her. Happenings in Irrigation Department, is a model, for all Engineering Departments in Andhra Pradesh. Indeed, others, now are more rapidly following the activities of the
model department, particularly Roads and Buildings Department, under a new famous Engineer-in-Chief.
b) Municipal Administration & Urban Development Department: Though quantum-wise, by money wise, is a Kirana, Small shop, but it is no less important in its activities. Above all, to paraphrase Mr. Karl Marx (dead), ‘Each according to Opportunity and each Accordinq to his Greed’. But it has giants under its umbrella: Urban local bodies dealing:
i) Hyderabad Urban Development Authority.
ii) Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority.
iii) Tirupathi Urban Development Authority.
iv) Vijayawada, Guntur, Tenali Urban Development Authority.
v) Tadapatri – Bellari – Ananthapur Urban Development Authority, etc.,
vi) New Bodies
Un restrained business is going on in these Bodies.
c) The story of all other departments like Roads and Buildings, Panchayat Raj and Rural Development, Agriculture and Cooperation, Transport, Welfare Departments, Revenue Department (least said the better) is no different. Karl Marx must be dying again and again in his grave, as Marxists are enjoying.
d) What is happening in the Mines and Geology Department of the State Government, I have no words to describe. I do not know the worst systematic loots, plunders of mother earth of Andhra Pradesh, above sea and under sea. It is for the experts to consider and give details. A very small man, who was Dy. Director, till the other day of Mines and Geology Department, has become the whole and sole authority of Mines and Geology Department. The result is, for all to see and there is no need to give details here.
ALL INDIA SERVICES:
84. Already I have said a lot on this. In general, as in all walks of life, there are still men / women, of integrity left; so we cannot categorise all Members of All India Services as Lord Venkateswara or Lord Jagannatha with His qualities. We are living in Kaliyugam, wherein 75% is injustice and 25% is justice. But it is left to people to judge, what is the percentage of honest men and women in Public Life, in All-India Services, etc., etc.
85. A few of the celebrated names involved in corruption / criminal misconduct or in very serious violations of provisions of Conduct Rules are mentioned here only for reference. This list is not exhaustive only illustrative:
1. Sri S.K.Dass, IFS, Prl. Chief Conservator of Forests.
2. Sri Swaranjit Sen, IPS (Retd.)
3. Sri K.Chandramouli, IAS.
4. Sri Dayachari, IAS
5. Sri Vara Prasad, IAS.
6. Sri K.Devanand, IAS
7. Smt.K.Ratna Prabha, IAS (Karnataka cadre 1981)
8. Sri Satyanarayana Mohanty, IAS (3 cases) and his defender.
9. Sri D.R.Garg, IAS
10. Sri Bhupal Reddy, IFS (Agros).
11. Sri D.S.Murthy, IAS (Retd.)
12. Sri K.Biswas, IFS (now in Ananthapur).
13. Sri V.N.Vishnu, IAS (Collector, Srikakulam)
14. Sri V.K.Agarwal, IAS
15. Sri D.C.Rosaiah, IAS (retd.)
16. Sri K.S.Rao, IFS
17. Sri K.Narayana, IAS (Retd.)
18. Sri Gautam Sawang, IPS.
19. Land Grabbers – A lot of high officers purchased Government land at a cheaper rate from land grabbers and swelled their wealth. Some officers’ have got regularized very valuable land in Banjara Hills at a very cheap rate and those declared land grabbers in 1997-98. Further there are very serious petitions received against acquiring vast land by former Commissioner of Cyberbad and against former Joint Collector, Nalgonda. Though I addressed General Administration Department for conducting a preliminary enquiry no reply is received. Thus, if Chief Secretary, Director General of Police are not feared then criminal misconduct cases are bound to increase even among All-India Service Officers.
20. C.B.I. indicted officers.
21. The Andhra Pradesh Housing Board has opened one subsidiary called Deccan Infrastructure Land Holdings Limited. The details are not provided in the Website of Andhra Pradesh House Board. It is reported that, there is a Board of the Body, which sits every month ones and each Member of the Board gets sitting fee of Rs.50, 000/-, which they pocket it. This is a very serious misconduct. This has to be probed into by a very senior I.A.S. officer who is known for his objectivity and character.
86. These are samples, a few black faces in Civil Services. All details are available in Vigilance Commission and in General Administration Department.
Some other organizations silently operating:
1. A. P. Health, Medical, Housing and Infrastructure Corporation.
3. Other important land allotment Agencies for LT. Software Park, promotion
of Industries; for raising finances for Government etc. C.B.I. / V. & E Reports received.
87. Coming to know about the extent of corruption in contracts, particularly, in Irrigation Department, on enquiry with the then Chief Vigilance Commissioner, Sri P. Shankar, I prepared a detailed note, on introduction of the concept “Memorandum of Ethics / Integrity Pact” introduced by Central Government Departments, on purchases, on the advice of Central Vigilance Commissioner, New Delhi. Before finalising a proposal, I had a detailed discussion, by convening meeting with several high officials, which are listed in the reference No.8. Here, only a copy of the D. O. letter No.25270/VC.Hl/2006, dated: 24.3.2006, is reproduced and rest is in the reference No.8 and its enclosures:
“The Central Vigilance Commission have introduced a concept of “Integrity Pact” which is signed by the contracting parties i.e., Government on one side and Contractors on the other side, whenever agreements for contract are signed for various projects. The Gujarat Government have introduced it, some time back and they are signing this in all contract works, in Sardr Sarovar Narmada river projects and in various other projects. Considering that large-scale works are being executed in Andhra Pradesh, it is felt necessary that this concept is introduced in our State also, while signing agreement for contract by the concerned Engineering officials. Along with signing of contract, this Pact to follow certain ethical conduct in the execution of works, is to be signed. The Pact will confer certain duties and responsibilities on both the contracting parties, i.e. Government on one side and Contractors on the other.
The Integrity Pact helps Government:
to fight corruption in the field of public contracting;
to enhance public trust in Government contracting;
to improve the credibility of Government procedures and administration;
to enable to reduce the high cost and the distortion impact of corruption on public procurement;
to establish mutual contractual rights and obligations;
to develop commitment to ethical conduct / to develop, by each party, professional ethics and set the platform of ‘efficient performance of contracts and timely completion of the project.
Further, as observed by the delegates during the deliberations in one-day Seminar on Integrity Pact organized by Gujarat Vigilance Commission on 27.05.05; “Integrity, Equity, Fairness, Transparence and Objectivity are the fundamental principles which go to the root of successful performance of public contracts.” It is, therefore, desirable to introduce the “integrity Pact’ in the Engineering Departments in our State. Placing the professional ethics at one place in the form of a Memorandum / Pact, and making both the parties to sign it, would, certainly, help reduction of corruption and contribute for efficient performance of contracts and timely completion of the Works, Projects. It is felt that it would be appropriate and reasonable to make the parties concerned to it to understand at glance their rights, responsibilities and obligations right from the stage of investigation, sanction, tender process to completion of work including final settlement of payments and accounts under an Agreement / Contract. Keeping this in view, a format covering the required ethics to the maximum extent in fulfillment of rights and obligations is prepared and placed below for kind perusal. It has been prepared based on “Integrity Pact’, worked out by Central Vigilance Commission and Gujarat Government. Since it is injecting the ethics to develop integrity, it perhaps, be appropriate to title the format as “MEMORANDUM OF ETHICS” instead of “INTEGRTIY PACT”. It is
desirable that it is introduced and asked to be signed by both the parties at the time of pre-bid meetings. The ‘draft Integrity Pact’ / ‘Memorandum of Ethics’ prepared by us after going through all the available papers is enclosed. You are requested to go through them.”
88. No wonder neither the file is received back nor heard of. This was addressed to Chief Secretary to Government of Andhra Pradesh who claims himself a great expert on Irrigation
89.Proposal to constitute Vigilance Advisory Committee
Extracts: “Notes at page 8 may kindly be seen.
The proposal to constitute Vigilance Advisory Council by APVC was approved by the CM, at page 8, of the notes. Subsequently, the Members, as indicated therein were addressed. Two Members i.e., Sri S.R. Sankaran, IAS (Retd) and Sri N. Subbarama Reddy, former Adviser to Govt., Vigilance & Quality Control, have not given their consent. Sri N. Subbarama Reddy is reported to be ill and is living at Tirupathi. It may be because of that; he has not given his consent. Sri S. R. Sankaran, IAS (Retd), normally, does not associate with any Governmental Institutions and he has also not given his consent. In their place, I had addressed for consent to include the name of Sri E.A.S. Sarma, IAS (Retd), who retired as Secretary to Govt. of India and also worked earlier as Principal of Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad and Sri P.C. Parakh, IAS (Retd), who retired as Secretary to Govt. of India, Ministry of Coal, as he is known for his integrity. They have given their consent. The proposal now is to issue of necessary orders, which may kindly be approved. For holding meetings once or twice a year, it may be necessary to reimburse TA and DA to out station Members, if they claim. Otherwise, most of the Members are based at Hyderabad itself. Hence, some expenditure may be required to be incurred. For that purpose, Rs. 2 to 3 lakhs may be required, which is worth spending.
The proposal is submitted for final approval.
90. No reply till date even, nor the file returned. Viqilance is synonymous with collusion:
91. In the latest definition of “Vigilance Angle” delaying, deliberately, circulation of disciplinary cases by officers is itself a serious misconduct. My three years regular and detailed perusal from page one of files of various departments running into several thousands shows that, in collusion, with the Accused Officers the subordinates sit over files till the accused officer retires from service on attaining the age of superannuation and gets all retirement benefits. No Secretary to Government including Chief Secretary to Govt. has ever initiated even symbolic action on such subordinates.
92. All that I learnt in the entire service / career is that corruption has no religion, no caste, no region, etc. To know whether a particular accused officer is corrupt or not his entire records are perused at the end of the day, which may take several years. But a MLA can determine and certify about the person as not corrupt in no time. How can an MLA certify? But the Government is very glad to honour such recommendations of MLAs / MPs / politicians, particularly the Ministers and officers in high position. I, personally, know that one Collector who worked till recently, in Adilabad District, worked for a brief period, used to suggest and advise his subordinates who were facing charges of misconduct, to get a recommendatory letter from some MLA, so that the case can be closed. This is an example only.
Reclassification of Penalties is a necessity now:
93. Reclassification of Penalties is required. Penalties are provided under A.P.C.S. (CC&A) Rules, 1991. In the present circumstances, deterrent punishment commensurate with the charge is not being imposed. The A.P.C.S. (CC&A) Rules were issued in the year 1991, but the original rules were issued in 1963, which is now outdated. In the existing rules, for example, misconduct are not properly defined, classified and they need to be reclassified in the light of our experience of 60 years after independence. The
small / minor penalties / punishments have to be revised upwardly and postponement of one or two increments with cumulative effect which is described as major penalties lost their relevance and deterrent effect. Censure, which was considered as a minor penalty, is expression of ‘pleasure’ now. Every body is described as outstanding performer. It is futile for me to do the exercise for Government at this stage.
94. This Commission is established with the avowed object of over looking the maintenance of purity and integrity of the employees of State Government by keeping constant Vigilance on the functioning of various Departments and advise the Government / Departments to deal with the erring Government servants in befitting manner and maintain the transparency in Administration. I, as Vigilance Commissioner take this opportunity, to spell my experience, achievements (?) and failure to sensitive all, and expect all to move in the direction of corruption free society. The delay in response, as well as inaction by the Department Heads to my advice, given, from time to time, sent wrong signals.
95. Under Andhra Pradesh Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964, in Andhra Pradesh, ideal conduct of Government servants are indicated. Under Andhra Pradesh Civil Services (Classification, Control & Appeal) Rules, 1991, which was originally issued in 1963 in Government Manuscript No.1376, General Administration (Rules) Department, and dt.28th November 1963, various penalties for misconduct have been prescribed. Only 4 (four) major penalties viz., Reduction to lower post, compulsory retirement, removal from service and dismissal from service have any impact on guilty persons to day.
96. Anti-Corruption Bureau, Hyderabad, is enforcing authority of the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (Act 49/1988).
97. The Vigilance Commission, Andhra Pradesh Vigilance Commissioner, is an independent body, appointed, under hand and seal of Honorable Governor of Andhra Pradesh. A copy of the appointment order issued to me, is reproduced below for perusal;
“Surjit Singh Barnala
Governor of Andhra Pradesh
September, 4, 2004
I, Surjit Singh Barnala, Governor of Andhra Pradesh, hereby appoint Sri Rama Chandra Samal, IAS (Retd.) to be the Vigilance Commissioner for the State of Andhra Pradesh, for a period of three years from the date of assumption of office.
(Surjit Singh Barnala)
98. In Government order Manuscript No.421, General Administration Department, dated 3rd August, 1993, the Vigilance Commissioner was created (Circular No.372 Vigilance Manual – II). Under powers vested in me as Vigilance Commissioner, I am advising now closure of all cases against employees of Andhra Pradesh Government, pending as on 31st December, 2000 (31.12.2000), except the cases pending inquiry in Courts, involving the following cases:
a) Under provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
b) Those crimes of misconduct, which will, most likely, invite punishment of reduction to lower cadre, compulsory retirement, removal from service and dismissal from service.
99. Accordingly, each Department of Secretariat is being advised to take action in each case. Such cases will be scrutinized by a Committee, consisting of three eminent Civil Servants known for their integrity and objectivity, retired or serving. (In legal terminology, it is called ‘plea bargaining’.)
100. A report of pending cases shall be obtained from Anti Corruption Bureau, from
Criminal Investigation Department and Vigilance& Enforcement Directorate and from all others concerned and scrutinized by the said Committee. Departments of Government will submit all their concerned files to the said Committee.
101. Vigilance Commissioner is making this recommendation of closing of thousands of cases, very old cases, because they are pending for very long against small employees and in thousands of numbers. This is consuming most of the time of the Vigilance
Commissioner as well as the Departments and in the process those who really should be quickly punished are escaping and those who are innocent and should be exonerated without loss of time, are suffering. The course suggested by Vigilance Commissioner now is only worthwhile course. (All are requested to use provisions of Right to Information Act, 2005.)
102. I also, hereby, express my gratitude to Dr.Yeduguru Sandinti Rajasekhar Reddy, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh for reposing confidence in me and appointing me as Vigilance Commissioner, Andhra Pradesh Vigilance Commission with effect from 08.09.2004 and for giving me unstinted, continuous support, against attacks, inside Cabinet and outside.
103. I conclude with a song of Sri Rabindranath Tagore: Where The Mind Is Without Fear Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free; Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; Where words come out from the depth of truth; Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards profession;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert
sand of dead habit; Where the mind is led forward by thee into every-widening thought and action-Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
(This is not Annual Report)
Sri Ramchandra Samal,
Andhra Pradesh Vigilance Commission,
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh,
India (08.09.2004 – 07-09-2007)
Flat No.8, A.W.H.O. Colony,
Secunderabad – 500 009.
Source : (Catalyst – http://www.afhd.org )