For over 7 months, anti-corruption panel fails to meet in MP
Bhopal: Even as corruption cases continue to surface in Madhya Pradesh, a high-level committee set up to ensure speedy conclusion of graft cases against government employees has not met for a single day for over past seven months.
The high-powered panel consisting of senior Secretary level officers was formed by Madhya Pradesh government in March 2010, in the backdrop of raids by Income Tax department in the premises of suspended IAS couple Arvind and Tinoo Joshi which had resulted in huge recovery of cash and other valuables worth several crores of rupees.
"The senior Secretary level officer Committee has not held any meeting since October 1, 2012," Madhya Pradesh General Administration Department said in response to an RTI query filed by social activist Ajay Dubey.
According to the terms of reference of the committee, it was mandated to coordinate with state government departments concerned to expedite cases pending sanction for prosecution against corrupt government officials.
It was also asked to coordinate in cases probed by central agencies like CBI, ED and I-T department among others.
The panel was especially asked to decide on the cases of corruption red flagged by Chief Technical Examiner and pending for over five years.
It was also asked to make a list of pending cases of officials against whom State Lokayukta, which act as the top-most anti-corruption body free from executive control, has recommended disciplinary action and ensure fast processing of them among others.
As per its mandate, the General Administration Department
(GAD) was asked to make a quarterly progress report of all corruption cases pending probe after coordination with all the departments and put up before the committee.
The GAD will also provide monthly information on cases of prosecution.
"It is shocking that the Committee has not held a single meeting after October 1 last year. There are many cases of corruption being reported in the state. But the committee tasked with ensuring speedy conclusions of corruption cases is shying away from meeting," Dubey said.
He claimed the state government was trying to maintain its image by not ensuring regular meetings of such an important committee.
Incidentally, as many as 66 cases involving some IAS officials registered by State Lokayukta are pending for over four months with different state government departments for sanction of prosecution.
“We have written to Chief Minister, Chief Secretary and almost all senior officials to expedite cases related to sanction for prosecution. We are yet to get the approval in as many as 66 such cases," Inspector General of Lokayukta Ashok Awasthi told a news agency.
He said a list containing details of all corruption related cases pending sanction for prosecution has been put up on the Lokayukta's website also.
The State Lokayukta has of late raided various places and registered cases of corruption against Madhya Pradesh government officials.
It had in March this year raided residences of a senior forest official in Bhopal and Ujjain and found details of assets worth over Rs 50 crore disproportionate to his known sources of income.