BENGALURU: Errant officers in government departments have come up with a novel tactic to delay disciplinary action by their seniors based on adverse Lokayukta reports. The modus operandi is quite simple and ingenious: the officers ensure the confidential reports sent by the Lokayukta don’t even reach their departmental heads.
The reports sent in sealed covers are opened in the personal section of bureaucrats and sent back to the Lokayukta institution, stating that the official concerned — against whom action is recommended — is not in the department. This way, disciplinary action is evaded by the errant officials for over two years in many cases.
Explaining the difficulties they have been facing, a judicial officer in the Lokayukta office said such tricks are regularly played in some departments, including Home, Revenue, Rural and Panchayat Raj. This is because the number of reports recommending action against officials is higher in these departments
“In many cases, inquiries have been delayed by more than two years. We have had to summon the bureaucrats, particularly in revenue department, seeking showcause for delay,” the official said.
Now matters have come to such a head that Chief Secretary Subhash Chandra Khuntia has asked heads of all departments to instruct the officials/staff working in their personal section to ensure reports recommending inquiry by the Lokayukta/Upa Lokayuktas reach the competent authority. Initially, the Registrar of Lokayukta had first communicated this problem to the then Chief Secretary Arvind Jadhav.
The circular issued by Khuntia on February 16 states that it has come to his notice that the staff of the
personal sections of the competent authorities — all additional chief secretaries, principal secretaries/secretaries — are hesitant to receive reports from the Lokayukta institution.