Arvind Kejriwal tells ministers to list ‘corrupt officials’
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday directed all cabinet ministers in the Delhi government to prepare a list of “corrupt officials” in their respective departments for compulsory retirement.
The CM’s directive comes two days after lieutenant governor (L-G) Anil Baijal asked top Delhi officials to “weed out the dead wood and dark sheep” in the government by ensuring compulsory retirement of “tainted” officials, much in line with a policy recently implemented by the central government in many government departments.
Following Baijal’s directive, Kejriwal and deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia went to meet the L-G on Saturday to discuss the issue. A statement issued by the chief minister’s office (CMO) on Sunday said that the CM also discussed the matter with Delhi chief secretary Vijay Dev.
“This will be in line with the Central government’s initiative of retiring such officers under Fundamental Rule 56(J) of Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972. CM Kejriwal and the Delhi Government have a zero tolerance policy against corrupt officials and corruption,” the statement read.
Officials in the CM’s office, who did not wish to be named, said that the list would include corrupt officials who tried to create “obstructions” in various projects of the Aam Aadmi Party-ruled government in Delhi. “Bureaucrats who had raised multiple objections to projects and are tainted will be shown the door,” an official said.
The CM’s office said that Kejriwal, during his first stint as the chief minister in 2013-14, had ordered a crackdown against corrupt officials. “During the last four and a half years, the Delhi government has come across officials who opposed public welfare policies for extraneous considerations and harmed the interests of Delhi,” it said.
However, due to lack of agencies like Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Delhi government has only been able to raise the issue of corruption with the L-G, since it cannot take any direct action, it added.
On Saturday, the Delhi government formed a committee to carry out period reviews of the service records of officers belonging to Delhi Administration Subordinate Service (DASS) and steno (clerk) cadre, so that non-performing or tainted officials are identified. Around 9,000 DASS cadre officers currently work in the Delhi government.
The chief secretary had on Saturday also directed principal and special secretaries of all departments to start drafting the list of officers who could face action.
In his letter to all top officials on Friday, Baijal had sought an action taken report in a month which means all agencies – Delhi government, Delhi police, DDA and the three civic bodies of Delhi — may be looking at major crackdowns in the coming weeks against ‘corrupt or tainted’ employees.
The directive came barely two weeks after the Central government forced 27 senior Central Board of Indirect Taxes, Customs and Income Tax department officials to retire over allegations of corruption.