Modi administration keeping a close monitor on government employees facing corruption or criminal charges. The government has pledged to high standards and integrity of Indian bureaucrats.
In the past 4 months, at least 64 government employees which include several Commissioner ranked officers have been retired by the CBDT (Central Board of Direct taxes). Officials said that the central government is reviewing annual confidential reports of countless employees, and more of such actions will be taken in the future.
Cadre Controlling Authorities have been ordered to create a mechanism to identify the ‘dead wood’ in the system and conduct a thorough examination of their service records, action as harsh as compulsory retirement can be taken on these officials. A senior officer said ‘The Centre has written to states to prepare a list of officers who are facing charges of misconduct or allegations of corruption’.
Cadre Controlling Authority for the IAS officers includes Ministry of Pension, Personnel, and Public Grievances, and are preparing the list of stained officials for removal from their services. Similar working is being carried out by the Ministry of External Affair and the Ministry of Home Affairs. An officer said ‘A list has been prepared by most of the ministries and also by the Cadre-Controlling Authorities and names will be announced in a phased manner’.
In order to hand over a compulsory retirement to the officers of IAS, IPS, IFS and other services, Rule 16(3) of the All India Services Rules, 1958, which got amended on 31stJanuary 2012, will apply. Since June, all the officers that were given compulsory retirement by CBDT under Fundamental Rule 56(J), were facing smuggling, corruption, and even criminal schemes.
Last month itself, CBDT handed over compulsory retirement to 15 high ranked officers. In June, twelve senior Income Tax officials, including one Joint Commissioner were dislodged.
Central government has ordered federal investigative authorities like NIA (National Investigation Agency), ED (Enforcement Directorate), CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation), and many other to pinpoint the corrupt officials and take necessary actions on urgent basis.
Names of some NIA officials have come up for corruption, oddly, when the country fights were against terrorism, NIA officials are busy taking bribes who were tasked to investigate these crimes. This has raised concerns in the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office).
In August 2019, three NIA officials including one SP (Superintendent of Police) were transferred after a complaint surfaced where they asked a Delhi based businessman to pay Rs. 2 crores to get an exclusion from the case involving Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind behind Mumbai’s terror attack.
Officials from ED (India’s federal financial investigating agency) are under the government’s radar as complaints of ‘running an extortion racket’ have surfaced. A ‘strong mechanism to check accountability’ will be put by the central government on the officials of central intelligence agencies, who have access to source money.
On Independence Day, PM Modi addressed the nation about his government’s war against corruption in India. He said ‘Some black sheep in the tax administration may have misused their powers and harassed taxpayers, either by targeting honest assessees or by taking excessive action for minor or procedural violations. We have recently taken the bold step of compulsorily retiring a significant number of tax officials, and we will not tolerate this type of behaviour’. The actions taken by our government against the tax officials have been praised as there have been complaints from corporates that many tax officials have been harassing businessmen. This harassment has been one of the causes behind the slump in the Indian economy.