PATNA: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s anti-corruption initiatives may have converted a graft-tainted IAS officer’s house into a primary school, but it hasn’t deterred most of his state’s police officers to file property returns as mandated by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
With 71 IPS officers not filing their annual immovable property returns (IPR) in 2010, Bihar leads the pack among Indian states. According to a MHA memorandum, several IPS across cadres had not submitted their returns in 2009 and 2010 as well, or failed to stick to the due date. The MHA has asked all state governments to ensure that IPS officers should submit IPR for 2011 by January 31. The directive came after the ministry compiled a list of over 700 officers who defaulted in 2010, and put it up on its website.
According to sources, the MHA crackdown may affect the promotion prospects of the officers. Officers “who do not submit the property returns by the prescribed time will be denied vigilance clearance and will not be considered for promotion and empanelment for senior-level posts in the Government of India”.
In Bihar, there are 164 IPS officers as on December 23, 2011. The MHA defaulter list includes names of senior officers like the 1973-batch Manoj Nath, who is due to retire in May this year, besides those of senior officers such as Shafi Alam (1977 batch), Sunit Kumar (1980 batch), N C Dhondhial (1980 batch).
The MHA reminders have not had any impact on young officers who have put nearly 10 years in service either. And their number is a substantial 26. The list includes ‘Dabangg’ officer Shivdip Wamanrao Lande (2006 batch), who, as the SP of Patna, had shot into the limelight with his drive against hoarders, massage parlours running sex rackets, eve-teasers, rash-drivers. Probity, like charity, should begin at home.