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Is corruption rampant in Revenue Department?

In fact, according to the reports prepared by the Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) and Vigilance and Enforcement Department, corruption is rampant in the State Revenue Department. 

Published: 17th April 2019 10:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th April 2019 10:35 AM   |  A+A-

45 per cent respondents admit to paying bribe to get work done: Survey, corruption

for representational purposes.

Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s proposal to revamp and reform the Revenue Department in order to curb corruption has drawn mixed reaction from different sections of the people, including the worried employees of this key governmental department. The claims and allegations made against the department are not completely unjustified. That is if one goes by the data available on the corruption prevalent in the department. 

In fact, according to the reports prepared by the Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) and Vigilance and Enforcement Department, corruption is rampant in the State Revenue Department. As per the latest report published by the State Vigilance Commission (SVC), there were at least 27 persons across the rank and file of the department that were alleged to have indulged in corrupt practices.  

According to a report, covering the period from October and December 2018, the SVC found that the Revenue Department is only next to Home and Municipal Administration Department when it comes to corruption. Demanding and accepting bribes to show favouritism or to do the work of those who approach the department is one of the major charges of corruption made against the erring officials of the department. This is irrespective of the operational or executive nature of the job, the officials observed. 

The instances of alleged corrupt practices are mostly referred to the departments concerned to initiate disciplinary actions. However, in certain instances, the SVC had to advise on rigorous punitive action against the corrupt. 

For the record, there were 11 cases in which the revenue officials were caught accepting bribes through traps laid by ACB. In seven cases, the SVC has referred the cases back to the revenue department to take necessary action. The SVC, however, advices prosecution only in cases of extreme bearing. 

For instance, the SVC has advised prosecution to be initiated on two gazetted officer rank officials and two non-gazetted officers between October and December, 2018. The SVC also recommended imposition of major penalty on one gazetted officer.  Between January and December, the SVC has advised at least 14 revenue officials to be placed under suspension.

Though SVC officials observed that there has been compliance in advices made to the Revenue Department but on rare occasions, its advice is not honoured. “It is not just charges on the land mutation aspect that complaints are made but even in other Revenue Departments there are complaints which we receive. The Revenue Department usually takes action on the advices that we make.

But in some cases when false charges are made, the person involved can appeal to the chief minister and take relief,” pointed out an SVC official. At a time when Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is mulling to have a new Revenue Act in place, the Vigilance Commission report further highlights the need to address the issue. 

Corruption also prevalent in MAUD, Home dept
The SVC also found that a large number of Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) and Home Department officials too allegedly indulged in corrupt practices. As per a SVC report, 106 alleged cases of corruption were reported in the Home Department and 78 in MAUD between January and December in 2018. Interestingly, in GHMC, director of enforcement, vigilance and disaster management Viswajit Kampati pointed out that vigilance is not just on government officials but contractors as well. 



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