Jammu and Kashmir has achieved unique distinction of having three purported institutions of curbing corruption but apart from officers of the clerical cadre and above, none from accused Babus to Mantris has been penalised.
From Babus to Mantris to Santris; story of penalisation is same, albeit little variations in the manner in which they indulge in corrupt practices. Even if they get caught, records have shown that evidence has never supported the story of prosecution. It is now often said that elite in J&K has the courage to deny even the undeniable. Despite agencies claiming to have framed strong cases against them, records bear testimony to the fact that they always have managed to go Scott free.
Cases against them have been piling up in various courts across the state but no one from the top has so far faced the music. What takes sheen out of this is the fact that corrupt Babus earn wealth worth crores of rupees and then, plunge into political arena, only to become law makers from rule breakers. Several have already joined the political landscape of Jammu and Kashmir and many more are waiting for the day, they retire from their services.
They have cases against them but they know well, the prevailing system is unlikely to act strongly against them. Hence, they have now decided to take over the political reigns of the state. They know well that public memory is short-lived and they have a habit of forgetting even the most brazen cases of corruption. This has emboldened them and allowed them to take public for-granted.
A look at the statistics explains all. Omar government record of penalising the corrupt Mantris, Babus and Santris is zero. 449 senior officers are awaiting judgement from courts in various corruption cases. Nearly 210 cases involving 449 gazetted officers are pending before courts of Special Judge Anti-Corruption in Jammu and Srinagar. Cases are also pending against 30 IAS officers, 20 IPS officers, 10 IFS officers, 3 former Vice-Chancellors of Universities, ex-Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Bank, 4 ex-Chief Engineers and former Director General of Police (DGP).
Around 245 complaints against former and present ministers, MLAs of Jammu and Kashmir are pending before State Accountability Commission (SAC). Complaints pertain to the corruption, misuse of power, misappropriation, bungling and illegal appointments. In three cases, the challan is pending or a stay has been declared by high court.
These cases are against former chief secretary Ashok Jaitley, former principal secretary Ajit Kumar and former district social welfare officer (Srinagar) Mohammad Yousuf Bhat. In 12 cases of accumulation of assets, illegal appointments and misappropriation of government money, proposal for sanction to prosecute is being considered.
Meanwhile, J&K government has in the recent past sought details regarding inquiries as well as action taken against corrupt officers or officials for perusal and consideration by authorities every month. The details are to be furnished in a given proforma, indicating name of the officer, nature of compliant, whether preliminary inquiry has been conducted, whether charge-sheet issued, whether inquiry officer appointed, status of inquiry and whether any penalty has been recommended or imposed against the delinquent officer or officials.
Administrative Secretaries have been further asked to furnish information regarding all regular Departmental Action as well as Departmental Action Cases referred to various departments by Vigilance Organization or GAD (Vigilance), according to an order issued by government through Deputy Secretary to General Administration Department recently.