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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Doubts over probe by water resources dept against its own

Ketaki Ghoge, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, October 14, 2012
First Published: 00:25 IST(14/10/2012) | Last Updated: 00:27 IST(14/10/2012)

Activists and the opposition have raised doubts over the integrity of the departmental probe against 57 engineers of the irrigation department. The inquiry will rely on a charge sheet of offences, which will be prepared by the water resources department.

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“The charge sheet of offences is unlikely to be watertight if it is filed by officials of the same department. With so many engineers under the scanner, including the current secretary, how can this exercise be carried out with any integrity,” asked whistleblower chief engineer Vijay Pandhare. Bureaucrats too admitted that the entire exercise relies heavily on the charge sheet, and thus may not be foolproof.

A department inquiry gets underway after a charge sheet of offences is prepared against an officer and he is issued a show-cause notice. This is done by the parent department. Considering the scale of the irrigation scam, the chief minister has said that the inquiry (post this exercise) will be handled by an IAS official.

However, activists are now demanding that this practice be weeded out to ensure transparency and accountability within the two departments, which hand out the most work contracts.


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