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20 'most corrupt' IAS officers in UP to be identified
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | December 15, 2006 17:20 IST
Exactly ten years after the Uttar Pradesh IAS Association undertook a secret ballot to expose the 'three most corrupt' from their own elite cadre, India Regeneration Initiative, headed by former chief justice of India R C Lahoti, has decided to identify 20 'most corrupt' senior bureaucrats in the state.
Disclosing this, IRI convenor Vijay Shankar Pandey, a 1979 batch IAS officer, currently principal secretary (national integration) told this correspondent - "We have prepared a list of 20 IAS officers of the UP cadre against whom there was substantial prima facie evidence of assets far disproportionate to their known and legitimate sources of income."
Pandey, who was also responsible for spearheading the secret ballot campaign to identify the 'three most corrupt' in December 1996, said, "We will hand over the list of such officers to the government and urge investigating agencies to probe their assets."
"Corruption was eating into the vitals of the system in the country's most populous state and since we all know that this malady grows from the top, we need to first do the weeding at the higher echelons of administration," he sought to point out.
Pandey was confident that even though UP IAS Association had given up the self-cleansing drive, the renewed effort by IRI to expose corruption in high places would bear fruit.
Besides former CJI Lahoti, others in the IRI core group included India's former chief election commissioner J M Lyngdoh, former Mumbai police commissioner Julius Ribiero, former Indian Air Force chief S Krishnaswamy and former comptroller and auditor general of India V K Shunglu, former BSF chief Prakash Singh, besides about ten retired and even serving senior IAS officers.
IRI was set up a few months back in New Delhi.
Welcoming last week's Supreme Court order doing away with the established practice of seeking government's permission for prosecuting corrupt government officials, he said, "This would go a long way in bringing the corrupt to book."
According to Pandey, "Since the corrupt often managed to remain close to whoever was in the seat of power, they would usually ensure that the mandatory permission from the government was not granted."
Meanwhile, IRI proposes to build pressure groups in different states to prevent appointment of tainted officers on sensitive positions.
Wherever necessary, IRI would also move the apex court, which had not very long ago, ordered removal of an allegedly corrupt UP chief secretary Neera Yadav.
Yadav had subsequently got the prosecuting proceedings stayed against her on the plea that the mandatory permission was not sought from the UP government.
Significantly, IRI's moves come on the eve of the annual IAS Week in UP, which draws bulk of the 450-odd officers belonging to the largest cadre of the country's top civil service to discuss their successes and woes in Lucknow.