CVC slams departments for selective approach in punishing corrupt

Central Vigilance Commission came down heavily on central government departments for their "selective approach" in punishing corrupt officials who caused losses worth crores of rupees to exchequer.

New Delhi: The Central Vigilance Commission has come down heavily on central government departments including PSUs for their "selective approach" in punishing corrupt officials who caused losses worth crores of rupees to exchequer, saying it reflected adversely on their credibility.
The probity watchdog claimed it has found instances of dilution of its advice of recommended punishment against a corrupt government official.

The CVC found that officers posted at Damgoria Colliery (West Bengal) of Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL) did not increase the price of coal to bring it at par with that Ramnagar mines of 17 months. This has resulted in loss of over Rs six crore to BCCL, it said adding that the Chief Sales Manager (CSM), the Chief General Manager (CGM) and the Project officer were found to be responsible.

The Commission advised imposition of major penalty on CSM, CGM and minor penalty on project officer. "The Appellate Authority exonerated the CSM," the CVC said in its annual report for 2011.

The CVC found 18 such cases in National Aluminium Company Ltd, Hindustan Organic Chemical ltd, Kandla Port Trust, National Thermal Power Corporation, Ministry of Railways, Delhi Development Authority and Municipal Corporation of Delhi among others where the Commission`s advise were not adhered to in toto.

"The Commission has also noted with concern that in some of the cases, either the due consultation process with the Commission have not been followed despite the fact that the suspected public servants were falling within the categories where consultation with Commission was mandated or the advices have been partly acted upon or badly delayed.

"There have also been instances where the advice of the Commission has been diluted considerably without approaching the Commission for reconsideration of its advice. The Commission takes a serious view of such cases of non-compliance and non-consultation with CVC," it said.

Citing cases of selective approach by certain government departments which showed unwillingness to follow commission`s advice, it said such failures would seem to be an attempt by the concerned disciplinary authorities to favour or dis-favour certain officers and reflect adversely on the credibility, objectivity and impartiality of vigilance administrations.

The CVC report mentioned an example of Hindustan Organic Chemicals Ltd. It was alleged that Methanol was purchased by it on high seas basis from a dealer.

"Eight purchase orders involving a sum of Rs 6.5 crore were placed on the supplier in violation of the laid down procedure at a higher rate. The Commission advised major penalty proceedings against two officers and minor penalty against three officers," it said.

However, in disagreement with the advice of CVC, the department exonerated the officers and closed the case, it noted.

"The Commission is of the view that while corruption should be dealt with ruthlessly, vigilance should be conducted in a manner so that honest officers are able to function without fear," the CVC report said.