New Delhi: A senior DGM level officer in Indian Railways gave parking space on lease to a particular person on tender basis. And, subsequently, he extended the lease for 10 times at low price causing loss to the exchequer.
The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) pointed out the corruption and recommended major penalty against the officer to the Railway ministry. The Railway ministry gave him a clean chit and said that there was no malafied intention.
In another case, the CVC found an alleged corruption in awarding tender in September 2009. The rates were considerably higher than those awarded by an adjacent division only a few months earlier, the CVC had pointed out.
The CBI registered a regular case against the 11 railway officials and three private firms in this connection in March 2013. The recommended action as deemed fit against the officer under the scanner.
The CVC had recommended a major penalty against the officer, the ministry gave him a clean-chit in May 2018.
Sadly, the Railway ministry tops the chart among the government departments which has ignored the CVC recommendation against erring officials in 2018. The CVC, which has listed 44 cases where ministries and administrative departments have not acted on the recommendation of it last year. And, out of this 44 cases, in as many as 19 cases pertaining to Railway officials, the concerned ministry has acted against the recommendations.
The CVC has lamented that such action of the ministry vitiates the vigilance process and weakens the impartiality of the vigilance administration.
The CVC found a loss of Rs 46 crore to the state exchequer in tender award case in the Department of Atomic Energy. Several officers of Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) were charged for irregularities in finalising a tender for removal of waste and extraction of Uranium ore at an open cast mine. Even though the corruption in this case was established beyond doubt, the Department of Atomic Energy, however, in disagreement with the Commission issued only administrative warning to three officers and no action was taken against another charged senior officers since he had resigned from the government-owned entity.
Similarly, State Bank of Hyderabad (now merged with State Bank of India) refused to either give sanction to prosecute or impose major penalty against one of its officials under the scanner for a case related to bank fraud to the tune of Rs 48.53 crore. Although, the bank had filed a complaint to the CBI in the fraud case, it declined to give sanction of prosecution and decided to issue a warning letter to the official.
The CVC has pointed out how a tainted officer in the State Bank of India was protected by the bank by denying sanction to prosecute the officer in open ended corruption case.
Similarly, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) ignored the charges of disproportionate assets against a senior officer, which was first reported to the CBI in 2011. The authority acted against the advice of CVC and recommendation of the CBI, which had recommended regular departmental action or major penalty proceedings. The NHAI decided to close the case after issuing a show cause notice in October 2017 for violation of CCS (Conduct) Rules. The case was closed by issuing a mere advisory caution note to the officer.