Jail tour to deter officers from graft: Farrukhabad district magistrate
DM Ravindra Kumar hit upon the novel idea during his two visits to Fatehgarh Central Jail in Farrukhabad district, where he came across 88 government employees and officials facing various charges, mostly corruption related.lucknow Updated: Jun 21, 2017 15:47 IST
Tour the jail, get a glimpse of life behind bars, and decide for yourself if you want to indulge in corruption.
This is the message the Farrukhabad district magistrate has for government officials to deter them from graft.
DM Ravindra Kumar hit upon the novel idea during his two visits to Fatehgarh Central Jail in Farrukhabad district, where he came across 88 government employees and officials facing various charges, mostly corruption related.
He then sent 576 government employees to the jail to interact with inmates, including government officials, who are living in confines of the prison. His intention was to expose them to the life they could have in case they indulge in graft.
“I was getting complaints everywhere that the employees weren’t addressing their problems; the allegations were about bribes,” Kumar told HT.
“The decision to send them (government employees) for a jail tour was arranged with the help of jail authorities. It has had a positive impact overall,” Kumar said.
“Some employees were critical of the move but it would take some time to sensitise them for the common good,” he explained.
Kumar, in his short stint in Farrukhabad, suspended seven government officials for allegedly being involved in the corrupt practices. “The entire process of taking action is long-drawn, an inquiry officer is appointed and he takes his own time to finish things. Normally the complexities involved not only allow the one who is charged to go unscathed, but increases the possibility of corruption again,” Kumar said.
So Kumar thought it prudent to send government employees on a jail tour to have a glimpse of life there and learn a lesson from it.
“Everyone has a different priority in life, ours as government officials should be public welfare and problem alleviation. A sensitive and responsible employee or official would not go for corrupt practices,” he said.
About his concept of sending government officials on a ‘jail tour’, Kumar said there were 88 government employees — 15 teachers, 14 policemen -- lodged in the central jail. “The ‘jail tour’ should act as a deterrent for corrupt officials,” he said.
Among those who ‘toured’ the jail included lekhpals (revenue officers) dealing in land-related matters, ration shop owners and panchayat officers, who deal with implementation of various government schemes at village level.
Heads of some departments also visited the jail.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath has expressed displeasure over rising corruption and kept it on the government’s priority to rid the state from graft.
Yogi has also raised questions on the functioning of the anti-corruption organisation (ACO) in the state, saying that it was time to restructure the body to make it more effective and result-oriented.
The ACO deals with complaints of corruption related to the police force and non-gazetted rank employees of other state government.