Cases of corruption against IAS and IPS officers would be probed by an investigating officer (IO) senior to them in rank, the state home minister announced in the assembly on Monday.
The announcement has, however, found no takers among senior IPS and IAS officers, who feel there is shortage of senior officers. They maintained that the senior officers were meant for supervisory job and not for investigation tasks.
Replying to a supplementary question posed by BJP MLA Alka Singh on corruption cases against IAS officers, home minister Gulab Chand Kataria said at present, the corruption cases against all IAS and IPS officers were investigated by officers of the rank of circle officer, superintendent of police, additional superintendent of police and deputy superintendent of police.
“Now there was a need to review it (the policy)…Hence, the state government would ensure that an investigating officer senior than IAS or IPS rank should probe such cases,” Kataria said.
Kataria said 18 cases were lodged against IAS officers in the last five years (from 2010 to 2014), of which final report (FR) was put on five cases, 10 were pending, challan were filed in two cases, and remaining one was awaiting technical clearance.
On BJP MLA Alka Singh’s supplementary questions, the home minister said there was no provision in the existing laws to seize or attach the property or assets of a corrupt official who failed to abscond or lost legal battle.
BJP MLAs Sukhram Vishnoi, Nirmal Kumar and Independent MLA M C Surana echoed their voices against the IAS and IPS officers’ individual cases running in the ACB.
However, IAS officers in the state feel the proposition was not feasible. “It is no possible. There is shortage of senior officers and they are supposed to carry supervisory job and guide investigating officers,” said a senior official, formerly posted at ACB.
“Further, what would happen if there is no officer senior than the accused?” he asked, adding that officers of ASP and DSP rank usually undertook all investigations and interrogations. Another senior IPS officer, on condition of anonymity, told HT that not just the junior officers, even a senior officer could come under pressure, while even an inspector could carry out an impartial and effective investigation.