The Boss is never wrong. Maybe. But if he is, India’s anti-graft watchdog says he will put his junior’s neck on the chopping block first.
The Central Vigilance Commission is asking vigilance officers to hold subordinate officers who have signed the files responsible in the first instance — even if under orders — and let them blow the whistle on their superiors. In government, junior officers usually issue formal orders for decisions taken by superiors.
The commission’s strategy is prompted by several cases where it detected violations but found departmental vigilance officers unable or unwilling to identify the people responsible. They took years to investigate and report to the commission that they could not identify the people responsible. The commission suspected this could be an attempt to brush cases under the carpet.
“Whatever papers there are, somebody must have signed them. I have said responsibility should be fastened on whoever has signed them,” Pratyush Sinha, Central Vigilance Commissioner, told HT. The commission believes once the officer concerned realises he is in the dock, either he or his superiors will come out with the truth. “So now the names will start tumbling out,” Sinha added.
Commission officials said the ‘I am not responsible’ plea figured most in irregularities detected by the Central Technical Examiners’ Organisation, the CVC’s direct investigating agency that inspects civil and major financial transactions of government organisations. Government bodies recovered nearly Rs 100 crore in over-payments and penalties on contractors in the last four years.