NEW DELHI: Politicians have a reputation for corruption and bureaucrats for being upright. Things changed in 2011, the Year of Scams, when the UPA government gave its nod to chargesheet IAS officers in 15 corruption cases. April is the cruellest month; last week, the CBI arrested two senior IAS officers—Dr Jairaj Phatak and Ramanand Tiwari—for their alleged complicity in the Adarsh scam. On April 3, the CBI filed a chargesheet against former Uttar Pradesh bureaucrat P K Jain and others for alleged irregularities in utilisation of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) funds. Senior IAS officer and Revenue Board member Pradeep Shukla is already under the scanner in the scam dealing with projects of worth around `250 crore and the CBI is investigating the role of senior IAS officer S P Ram as well. Ram, former director general of family welfare, is accused of pre-deciding the vendor for awarding the contract of medical equipment through Uttar Pradesh Small Industries Corporation (UPSIC). A contract of `4.42 crore was awarded to two firms based in Moradabad which resulted in a loss of `1.5 crore to the exchequer.
Haryana’s multi-crore forestry scam is likely to hit the headlines in a big way. The Centre has instructed the Haryana government to file an FIR in the three specific cases of corruption, and asked the CBI to investigate the scam. It reportedly involves two officers on special duty in the chief minister’s office, R R Beri and R D Sheokand, several IAS and IFS (Indian Forest Service) officers like H C Disodia and J K Rawat, as well as Supreme Court committee members—besides ministers and MLAs.
Most big guys start small. The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) unearthed assets worth over `118 crore allegedly belonging to Nitish Janardhan Thakur, a Deputy Collector posted in Raigad district of Maharashtra. IAS and IPS officers, serving and retired, have been arrested and jailed in states all over the nation like Maharashtra, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland and Delhi. The ministry of personnel has given the total number of IAS officers placed under suspension as 31. Is the steel frame of the bureaucracy melting?
Last year, in response to an RTI query, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) released a list of 13 corrupt babus.