The state government on Friday reacted to a report by Hindustan Times on 15 government servants held guilty of corruption by various courts across Maharashtra are yet to be dismissed, while 154 government servants facing corruption cases are yet to be suspended.
HT, on July 25, had published an article “15 govt officials guilty of graft yet to be dismissed”. Reacting to the HT report, the government, in a letter, said “Chief Secretary (CS) of Maharashtra Swadhin Kshatriya had taken review of pending cases regarding suspension and dismissal of public servants trapped in Anti-corruption bureau (ACB) cases on July 20th when at that time 175 public servants were to be suspended and 29 public servants were to be dismissed.”
In a letter to this newspaper, the government stated that now 158 public servants are to be suspended and 14 public servants are to be dismissed. “The CS had directed the secretaries of concerned administrative department to take immediate decisions in the cases which were pending with competent authority at administrative department level as well as at the regional level,” the government response to HT report read.
“The government has informed that these disciplinary actions are a continuous process and hence at any point of time some actions will always be underway as new cases come to be registered.” added the letter.
The ACB statistics go on to show the departments that are yet to dismiss these employees – two each from the revenue/land records/registrations and health and electricity departments, and the rest from home, medical education and drugs, industry energy and labour, Mhada, social welfare, Nagarparishad, state transport and the public works departments.
The General Administrative Department (GAD) has very clear instructions. According to a government resolution, if an official is caught taking a bribe, he should be immediately suspended. Under article 311 of the constitution of India, if a government servant is convicted, he has to be dismissed.
“According to the Maharashtra Civil Services (Discipline & Appeal) Rules, 1979, when an employee is trapped by the ACB, the authority concerned should immediately suspend him/her on getting a report from the ACB,” a source said, on condition of anonymity.
Further, the records show 154 government servants facing corruption cases are yet to be suspended.
“This is like protecting the corrupt. Taxpayers continue paying for their allowances even after a court has convicted them in corruption cases. The employee can go on appeal, while still getting his remuneration,” said another source from the bureau.
The education department has the most number of government servants facing corruption cases that are yet to be suspended (32). The rural development/zilla parishad/panchayat committee (22), revenue/land records/registration department (14), health (12) and forest (6) are among the others.