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Lack of prosecution permission hindering fight against corrupt officials in Rajasthan

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The Ashok Gehlot government has intensified its anti-corruption drive. The recent crackdown and arrest of district collector Inderjit Singh Rao, IPS officer Manish Agarwal, two provincial service officers – Pinky Meena and PK Mittal – has sent a shiver down the spine of corrupt officials. But there is a caveat in such actions.

Many such arrests don’t lead to its logical conclusion as the state does not give permission to prosecute such officials and many get reinstated.

Leader of Opposition, Gulab Chand Kataria raised the issue of corruption in the administration recently.

He pointed out that IAS officer Niraj K Pawan, Nirmala Meena, Amrit Lal Jingar and IPS officer Aas Mohammed, and several other Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) officers escaped punishment because the government did not grant prosecution approvals. 

It should be noted that during both the BJP and the Congress rule, the ACB that nabbed corrupt officials could not pursue the case against these officials because the state government did not grant prosecution permission. 

There are instances where prosecution nod was not granted by the state for as long as eight years resulting in corrupt officials getting reinstated.

What Kataria said

“ The various governments come and go, but the corrupt officials thrive and even after being nabbed red-handed accepting bribes, they are allowed to go scot-free as they are not prosecuted. In the past 365 days during the Congress regime, 361 corrupt officials were nabbed, but in as many as 279 cases, the prosecution permission is yet to be granted. All these delays make the ACB efforts go waste.” said Kataria.

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Inderjit Singh Rao, the collector of Baran had nine cases against him in the ACB, yet he was promoted by the Gehlot government and became an IAS. He is under arrest now and has been charge-sheeted, but when will the government grant prosecution permission is a question, he said.

The Gehot government withdrew cases against GS Sandhu and two other officials Nishkam and Onkarmal Saini, who were charge-sheeted and were arrested by the BJP government.

BJP/Congress both kind towards corrupt officials

The track records of both the Congress and the BJP governments against corrupt officials suggest that these successive governments under pressure from the politicians did not pursue the matter and no prosecution permission was granted. In some cases, the prosecution permission was not granted for seven years allowing the corrupt officials to retire gracefully.

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The Supreme court has directed the state to issue prosecution permission within three months after a charge sheet is filed. The High Court has also given similar orders, but the state government is defying the same. In some cases, the government did not bother granting permission even after the courts issued notices to the state.

Lack of prosecution order means the personnel department reinstates such officials after six months. Thus corrupt officials thrive and the ACB remains helpless.

 

 

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