The NDA Government may have started a drive to nail corrupt government officers but there are 19 senior IAS officers and 108 officers of the Bihar Administrative Service (BAS) who are facing corruption charges lodged by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and State Vigilance in the last ten years.
The interesting fact is that many of these officers are continuing on key posts while some of them have already retired.
The Estimates Committee of the Bihar Legislative Assembly in its latest report tabled in the House has severely indicted the State Government for allowing the tainted officers to hold key posts and showing lack of political will to take the cases to their logical end.
Among these tainted bureaucrats, there are several secretary-rank officers besides former Patna DM Gautam Goswami (91 batch IAS) and present Patna DM B Rajendra (98 batch IAS) as well as Secretary, Tourism Rama Shankar Tiwary (69 batch).
In its report, the Estimates Committee has recommended that corruption cases against IAS officers should be disposed of at the earliest through speedy trial and the government should not give key posts to tainted officers whether belonging to the IAS or BAS.
It has also recommended that corruption cases lodged against officials who have retired should also be expedited.
Incidentally, of the 19 IAS officers facing corruption charges four are accused in the multi-crore rupee animal husbandry scam, which broke out in Bihar in 1996. Three of them—K Arunguman, SN Dubey and Mahesh Prasad—have already retired while the fourth, Sajal Chakraborty, is still in service, though in Jharkhand.
Chakraborty, who had spent a few years in jail in connection with the scam, is at present Director, Administrative Training Institute in Jharkhand.
Among the IAS officers in service, Gautam Goswami is facing charges of misappropriation of funds allotted for flood relief and has spent 15 months in jail.
He was released in November 2006 on bail. Shafina AN is the only woman IAS officer facing corruption charges. She is at present posted as Joint Secretary, Urban Development Department. Two tainted IAS officers, Sanjeev Hans and B Rajendra, are posted as DMs.
The Committee, which examined the functioning of the Personnel and Administrative Reforms Department, has expressed surprise as to why the government turned a blind eye to officials facing corruption charges.
"The Committee fails to comprehend as to why corruption cases have lingered for years. The committee is also shocked to find that 108 officers of the Bihar Administrative Service are involved in serious corruption cases but not a single case has reached its final stage so far. It believes that there is an urgent need for high-level administrative activism for taking the cases to its logical end," the report states.
It has also said that out of the 108 BAS officer, 32 have retired. Most of the tainted BAS officers in service are posted as circle officers and BDOs.
The Committee's findings not only indicate that corruption prevails in the state bureaucracy but also point to the fact that corruption cases do not reach their logical conclusion easily.