`Group `C` employees must be brought under Lokpal`

Team Anna rejected Government`s proposal of excluding lower bureaucracy from Lokpal`s ambit.

New Delhi: Team Anna on Monday rejected
Government`s proposal of excluding lower bureaucracy from
Lokpal`s ambit, saying they must be covered to fight graft
like alleged swindling by Group C employees of over Rs 30,000
crore worth of ration annually meant for poor.

The Hazare supporters found fault with both the
government version of Lokpal as well as the one proposed by
Aruna Roy-led NCPRI, saying all sections of employees and
politicians collude with each other and there should be one
agency covering the whole bureaucracy.

"They don`t indulge in corruption separately," Team Anna
said in a statement, rejecting government`s proposal of
covering lower bureaucracy under Central Vigilance Commission
and NCPRI model of police first investigating the case and not
under Lokpal.

Insisting on inclusion of lower bureaucracy in the
Lokpal, they said inspectors accused of corruption were
Group C employees. In states, maximum corruption takes place
at the level of Group C employees, they alleged.

"Almost Rs 30,000 crores worth of ration meant for poor
people is annually siphoned off by Group C employees.

Thousands of crores of leakage takes place in NREGA works at
the level of Group C employees. Panchayat Secretary and
officials are Group C employees. Huge amount of corruption
takes place in panchayat works," the statement said.

Contesting government`s argument that the bringing entire
bureaucracy under Lokpal would make it unwieldy, it said if
one goes by international standards, India needs 28,500
anti-corruption staff in CVC to check corruption of 57 lakh
employees.

"CVC has a staff strength of 230 employees. Does the
government plan to provide 28,500 additional workforce to
them?...If that argument is accepted, then won?t CVC become
unwieldy?" it asked. "How can we assume that high level corruption is done by
Group A and B officials only and how can we assume that Group
C officials indulge in petty corruption? There have been
instances when Group C officials have colluded and indulged in
scams worth thousands of crores especially in NREGA and PDS.

"In contrast, there have been instances, when Group A
officers have been caught taking bribes less than Rs 10,000,"
Team Anna said.

They also noted that CVC does not have police powers and
it cannot register a criminal case.

Questioning the rationale behind having two police
stations under Lokpal and CVC, the statement said, "if a road
in front of one`s house breaks down a few days after
construction, it indicates that corruption has taken place.

"However, one would not know if this corruption was done
by Group A, B, or C officials. So in which police station
should an FIR be filed in this case ? CVC or Lokpal?" it said.

Opposing NCPRI model of first approaching police and then
Lokpal, Team Anna said, this may lead to delay in every
investigation as in twould ultimately land up at Lokpal as a
complaint or appeal.

Team Anna claims that their proposal is for a
decentralised system where Lokpal would set up a police
station in every district and Lokayukta in every block.
For corruption in a central government department, a
citizen could register an FIR at the nearest Lokpal police
station in the district and for corruption in any state
Government, a citizen could register FIR in the nearest
Lokayukta Police Station in that block, it said.

PTI

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