Recently a Kanpur businessman picked up tender papers from the Family Welfare Department. Before he could make his way out of the secretariat he received a phone call from a mafiosi-turned-MLA. He was told not bid for the printing contract. Only the dealing clerk knew that the trader had bought tender documents.Last year the Education Department had issued tender notice for printing the cover of primary and junior high school books. Nearly 22 bidders from all over the country submitted their bids. But the henchmen of a mafiosi-turned-MLA nabbed all of them and took them to the don?s ?darbar? at Darul Shafa. None was allowed to participate in the bidding.india Updated: Jul 15, 2006 23:57 IST
The mafia in UP may not have earned the notoriety of their Italian counterparts, but they are no less deadly. With the mafia spreading its tentacles in an accommodating ambience of governance, the high court had to act.
Recently a Kanpur businessman picked up tender papers from the Family Welfare Department. Before he could make his way out of the secretariat he received a phone call from a mafiosi-turned-MLA. He was told not bid for the printing contract. Only the dealing clerk knew that the trader had bought tender documents.
Last year the Education Department had issued tender notice for printing the cover of primary and junior high school books. Nearly 22 bidders from all over the country submitted their bids. But the henchmen of a mafiosi-turned-MLA nabbed all of them and took them to the don’s ‘darbar’ at Darul Shafa. None was allowed to participate in the bidding.
CRIMINAL-TURNED-politicians have made deep inroads in all government departments in UP. During the last few months, there had been nearly half a dozen murders of senior engineers of the irrigation because they had refused to follow the diktats of these dons in matters of contracts.
As things continue to go out of the State Government’s grip, the High Court has stepped in to rescue the situation. Now, the State Government has no choice but to implement the High Court’s landmark judgment. The court has set November 1 deadline for the government to implement the order.
The court has also struck at the backbone of the cop-mafiosi nexus. “It is a good beginning,” commented a senior IPS officer. “These mafia dons have massive political clout and run a parallel government,” he added.
While giving its verdict, the court referred to the history of the Italian mafia. It said, “In the 1980s and 1990s … a series of internecine gang wars led to many prominent mafia members (of Italy) being murdered and the new generation of the mafiosi has placed more emphasis on white collar criminal activities as opposed to the more traditional racketeering enterprise”.
The court further said, “In Italy, the mafia has become so intermixed with financial resources and political bodies … that former Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti stood judicially accused of relationship with the mafia”.
Significantly, the scenario is no different in the State. The court said, “No reply has been given by the State Government to the findings of the GB Pattanaik report”. The government also did not tell the court what action it had proposed to take against the mafia in the State in the light of Pattanaik report.
Hailing the decision former DGP Shriram Arun said the court gave the order because the government agencies failed to perform properly. He said criminalisation of politics and economic resources had led to the nexus between the executive and the mafiosi. Nearly half of the elected representatives had criminal antecedents and the HC had to step in as the State had abdicated its responsibility, Arun added.
Justice DP Singh’s directives have led to a flurry of activity in the government.
By asking the government to constitute the Organised Crime Control Authority (OCCA), the court has indicated that without fixing the responsibility the situation could not be controlled. The State police had few years ago drafted a proposal for the legislation of an act on the pattern of the Maharashtra Organised Crime Control Act. But the draft has been gathering dust in the Home Department. “With the mafiosi ruling the roost, any such measure appeared to be remote,” said a DG level officer.
In fact, the court apart from issuing detailed guidelines to eliminate criminals from government contract business has also put the onus on the Police Department to set its house in order.
While directing the government to set up the OCCA, the court ordered it to become e-savvy and interconnect the districts with the office of the Director General of Police. It also said that an officer of the rank of Additional Director General of Police might be deputed to deal with organised crime, mafia and white-collar criminals.
The court made the observation when it found that no information was being collected and retained in the office of DGP or IGP (Crime) about organised crime and its members.
The court said incidents of kidnapping for ransom and organised crime should be recorded in the service book of the Station House Officer of the area concerned. In case, any SHO failed to check the recurrence of kidnapping or organised crime then they should be removed from their post.
The court has also directed the Central Government, especially the Railways, to take appropriate steps to check the involvement of the mafioso and organised criminal syndicates, which vie for contracts.