Around 900 government and public-sector firm employees were sacked and 19,000 handed out other punishments in 2015 for corruption and misconduct.
The penalties ranged from dismissal, pay-cuts to a simple warning.
An Indian Police Service officer was one of the 900 officials sacked, said the Central Vigilance Commission’s annual report tabled in Parliament recently. An income tax commissioner was ordered to take a temporary pay-cut while a former chief town planner of the municipal corporation of Delhi saw his pension being reduced.
The increase in penalties was the result of the anti-corruption watchdog’s efforts to conclude cases within a time-frame, a government official said.
Corruption was one of the main issues raised by the BJP in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too, has pledged stern actions against corrupt officials.
The 20,000 cases include 3,600 senior officers penalised on the recommendations of the central vigilance commission for lack of integrity.
A quick comparison shows that the number of senior officers penalised in 2015 was the highest in a decade. In 2014, just 2,144 bureaucrats got into trouble.
While the CVC deals with complaints against senior officials, complaints against other staffers are handled by the chief vigilance officers (CVO) deputed in various departments to keep a check on corrupt practices.
Over 17,000 employees were acted against on being found guilty by chief vigilance officers, parliament was told. These included managers of state-run firms and public sector banks, scientists and at least one Kendriya Vidyalaya school principal were among those punished.
But, the list of departments that make up a bulk of the cases throws up some surprises.
For one, it isn’t the usual suspects--police or income tax officers--who ended up on the vigilance commission’s wrong side. The dubious distinction goes to bank officials.
Nearly 60% of the 928 officials sacked last year were bank managers. Every second public servant to face action, too, worked for a bank.