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'He was voted the most corrupt IAS official in UP'
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow |
September 25, 2007 22:25 IST
Last Updated: September 25, 2007 22:26 IST
"It is his nemesis," observed former top-cop Prakash Singh, speaking about the arrest of former Uttar Pradesh chief secretary Akhand Pratap Singh in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The retired police officer -- who has served as UP's police chief as well as the chief of the Border Security Force -- is widely known for his forthrightness. Singh added that such punitive action should be taken against corrupt bureaucrats while they are still in office.
Akhand Pratap Singh was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation for allegedly amassing wealth disproportionate to his known and legitimate sources of income.
Vijay Shankar Pandey, a 1979 batch UP cadre IAS officer who spearheaded the first ever in-house anti-corruption campaign in the country, welcomed the CBI move.
"It is a welcome move and it will send the right message to all those who think that they can get away with murder," said Pandey. "Deterrence is the only way to curb corruption in high positions. The former chief secretary's arrest will compel the corrupt to think ten times before indulging in illegitimate practices," he added.
Retired Union government secretary R C Tripathi also hailed the CBI's decision to arrest Singh. "Such a person should not be granted bail," he said.
"I only hope that this works as a deterrent for those who start indulging in corrupt practices from day one in service," observed George Joseph, a retired top bureaucrat.
A 1967 batch IAS officer, Singh earned the dubious distinction of being the "most corrupt" IAS officer in UP when an IAS Action Group, led by Pandey, undertook a unique secret ballot to elect the three most corrupt IAS officers in the state in 1997. Singh garnered the maximum number of votes.
CBI officials had carried out simultaneous raids on various premises owned by Singh and his immediate family members on March 21, 2005. Singh allegedly owns as many as 42 properties worth a whopping Rs 120 crore.
According to a CBI source, "Singh had gold-plated taps in his bungalows in various cities across the country." With the help of his son-in-law, a senior official in the Income Tax Department, Singh allegedly fudged tax returns and even forged documents to cover up his corrupt ways.
Thanks to his influence and money power, Singh managed to evade arrest for over two years, even though the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had turned down his plea for a stay against his arrest.
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