Measures to check bureaucratic corruption unveiled

Mere retirement will not be a ground for dropping proceedings against corrupt government servants who will now face a 10 per cent cut in pension in case of minor penalty.

New Delhi: Mere retirement will not be a
ground for dropping proceedings against corrupt government
servants who will now face a 10 per cent cut in pension in
case of minor penalty.

The present major penalty of compulsory retirement with
full benefits will be changed hereafter with a cut of 20 per
cent in pension.

The new rules will be effective under decisions made in
the first report of the Group of Ministers on Corruption
headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

In a bid to tackle corruption and to fast track cases of
public servants accused of graft, the GoM has decided to
eliminate certain tiers in consultation process.

These steps are part of a series of measures accepted by
the government for immediate implementation following the
recommendations made.

The government`s decisions come in the wake of Anna
Hazare`s anti-corruption campaign for a Lokpal Bill that would
also cover bureaucratic graft.

Until now, a government servant on the verge of
retirement can escape proceedings for minor penalty. The GoM
has now decided mere superannuation should not be a ground for
dropping proceedings for minor penalty.

A cut in pension upto 10 per cent may be imposed in case
of minor penalty. This cut will have a ceiling of five years
as a life-long reduction in pension would come under the
category of major penalty.

The existing major penalty of compulsory retirement with
full benefits may be changed to compulsory retirement along
with a provision that the competent authority may impose
upto 20 per cent cut in pension.

However, there would be no cut in pension in those
cases of compulsory retirement of officers being weeded out
for non-performance.

The GoM has also decided to make the departments and
ministries to primarily use serving officers as Inquiry and
Presenting Officers in one of the steps towards speeding up
the inquiry proceedings.

In important cases, the officers may request the Central
Vigilance Commission to appoint their Commissioner of Direct
Inquiries as IO.

The GoM is also of the opinion that CVC may also maintain
a panel of IOs and POs from among retired officers after
screening and empanelment. They could also be engaged on the
advice of the CVC.

Taking into account that delays in sanction of
prosecution of public servants, the GoM says that it was
imperative that sanction should be decided expeditiously and
within the prescribed time-frame of 3 months.

The GoM has recommended that in all cases where the
investigating agency has sought sanction for prosecution and
submitted a charge sheet along with it, the competent
authority will have to take a decision within three months
from the receipt of the request and pass a `speaking order`
with reasons.

If the permission is refused by the competent authority,
the request should go to the next higher authority and if it
is the minister and he too refuses he should submit the order
within seven days to the Prime Minister.

The Secretary of each ministry and department will
monitor all cases where a request has been made for permission
to prosecute and submit a certificate every month to the
Cabinet Secretary to the effect that no no case is pending for
more than 3 months. Reasons for pendency of a case for more
than 3 months should be explained.

On the government`s decision to set up 71 special CBI
courts, of which only 10 are operational, the GoM says that
the matter of setting up such courts should be taken up
actively with the state governments and reviewed on quarterly

It also decided that a Committee may be set up for
studying cases which have been pending trial for a long time
and make recommendations for speedy disposal or withdrawal of
such cases.

There are reportedly more than 2,400 corruption cases
pending for over 10 years. The GoM was of the opinion that
these may be reviewed by a Committee headed by a retired judge
of the Supreme Court.

Retired CVC, CBI Director and another person of
impeccable reputation from civil society could be members of
the Committee, which would particularly look at cases under
the Prevention of Corruption Act.

On amendment to Article 311 of the Constitution to provide
for summary proceedings in cases of grave misdemeanour or acts
of blatant corruption by public servants, it was felt that
there was need to strike a balance between fundamental rights
of individuals and administrative agencies.

The GoM decided that instead of amending the Constitution
the remedy against blatant corruption and grave misdemeanour
would lie in a strict and effective implementation of existing
laws and not framing of new ones.

In cases of misdemeanour, it was decided that the
competent authority will decide the matter within three months
of receipt of request and it will give a `speaking order` with

In the event of refusal of permission, the reasons should
be put up to the next higher authority for information within
one week. For those above the rank of Joint Secretary, the
competent authority will be Minister whose reasons for refusal
should be put up to the prime minister.


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