Haryana police don’t carry out fair probe: Lokayukta
Recommending strict action against the guilty officials, the Haryana Lokayukta has observed that the state police don’t carry out fair investigation into complaints and asked the BJP government to provide transparent and corruption-free administration to the public.
This comes in the wake of the Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government’s claims of having eradicated corruption during its three-year rule. The Lokayukta has advised the government to put in place a long-term plan to eradicate corruption.
Last week, the state government had issued instructions (a copy of the letter is with HT) about the Lokayukta’s recommendations and the need of a prompt action.
The Haryana Lokayukta Act, 2002, gives right to the common man to file complaint against any public servant. But to ensure that no public servant is maligned or dragged into a false case, the Act also has a provision of punishment in case of false complaints.
“The receipt of reference/observation from the Lokayukta should always be acknowledged. If due to administrative or any other reason, it is not possible to take action…then the Lokayukta may be informed well in time,” reads the government’s communiqué, asking officers to take necessary action on the points raised by the Lokayukta.
The competent authority has to examine Lokayukta’s reports and intimate within three months about the action taken. The Lokayukta has observed that the departments were not sending the action taken reports in most of the complaints despite the chief secretary issuing instructions in February 2016 also.
“It is again requested that this schedule may be adhered to meticulously,” chief secretary DS Dhesi has directed all the administrative secretaries.
Question mark on police inquiries
The most hard-hitting observation of the Lokayukta, as per government’s dispatch, is about the police department where fair inquiries are not being made at the police station level.
Lokayukta, Justice Nawal Kishore Agarwal (Retd), has pointed out that strict action against cops involved in such lapses will go a long way in improving police image.
“In order to achieve transparency in the administration, the public servants found guilty of corruption or maladministration should be awarded strictest possible punishment under the law,” the Lokayukta has said.
“For this purpose,” Justice Agarwal has recommended, “it is necessary that the government agencies change their mind set by adopting zero tolerance to corruption and inefficiency.”
While recommending transparent and corruption free administration, the Lokayukta has underlined a long term plan to eradicate corruption from the administration and public life. And to achieve this, the Lokayukta has proposed drastic changes in the school education system by inculcating high moral value based syllabus with emphasis on character building.
Casual approach and missing records
The government has stated that during different investigations the Lokayukta specifically observed that when a complaint is forwarded to the head of the department, for inquiry or reply in 45 days, no action is taken in spite of serious allegations and grievances in the complaint and that such complaints are taken in “routine and very casual manner” by the officers.
In most of the Panchayat Department’s cases, panchayat records being kept in the custody of the sarpanches were missing. The public servants under the urban Local Bodies didn’t cooperate with the Lokayukta in number of cases. “It has been suggested that a very stern action should be taken against the delinquent public servants so that it serves as a deterrent,” reads the communiqué.