Civil Secretariat has become a den of corruption: Harsh

‘Governor’s indulgence sought’


JAMMU: Expressing grave concern over the burgeoning corruption in the State, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh Chairman JKNPP and former Minister today appealed to the Chief Minister to activate, strengthen and effectively empower the anti graft bodies including SAC, SVC and CIC in conformity with her slogans of bringing Accountability and Transparency in the govt. functioning. He lamented that the deep rooted culture of patronized corruption was fast spreading its tentacles and had plagued and engulfed the entire system in the absence of effective control mechanism. He said that most alarming aspect was not the money exchanging hands in the unwholesome bargains but the open defiance of norms and procedures, fearlessness and audacity displayed by corrupt elements in executing such illegal bargains.Describing the Civil Secretariat as the fountain head of all corruption in the State, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh remarked that it was a classical example of darkness reigning at the foot of the light house. He said that right from the issuance of transfer orders to the release of funds and to further disposal of routine files, everything had a price in the Secretariat. He said that with highest seat of power having earned the most dubious infamy, the reputation of the incumbent govt. stood completely unravelled. Alleging that corruption had become a norm rather than an exception in the Secretariat, the highest seat of power, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh lamented that even the routine files were not being disposed in the ordinary course without ‘pleasing’ the concerned authorities. He said that it was a normal practice to keep the files pending for months together only to be forwarded and processed after the vested interests were served. In several cases, silly and absurd queries were raised by the helmsmen in the files only to delay and deny and to harass the applicants who did not ‘entertain’ and ‘please’ them. He said he was personally apprised by dozens of aggrieved persons where their files had been delayed for months and years by raising frivolous queries, despite the subject of query having been adequately elaborated on the original file, only to harass and toture them for extracting unwholesome favours from them. He regretted that even the instructions of PM Modi, that no Minister or bureaucrat should withhold a file for more than three days, were being shamelessly rubbished by such corrupt elements.Asserting that highest seat of power in the State which was supposed to promote public welfare was largely being used by unscrupulous politicians and bureaucrats for their private advantage. He said that it was a universally known fact that funds under various heads were released by various govt. departments only after receipt of a prescribed percentage in the form of commissions. He said that the corrupt had become totally fearless in view of the full patronage of their bosses who were provided with their ‘pound of flesh’. He regretted that several complaints of open loot and plunder of public money by the corrupt functionaries along with evidences submitted to the higher authorities in the Secretariat had only been disregarded and consigned to the dust bin. While the Civil Secretariat failed to transact the routine business in time bound manner, Mr. Singh observed that its only apparent achievement was the issuance of wholesale transfer lists on regular basis. He said that the last two years had witnessed a mad race amongst various deptts. for effecting transfers of govt. functionaries without having any regard for the aptitude, efficiency or suitability of incumbents. He said that thousands of transfers in the most arbitrary and clandestine manner had effectively exploded the myth of good governance and corruption free dispensation. With corruption having beaten all previous records in the present govt., Mr. Singh urged upon the Chief Minister to start from the top as war against corruption like charity must begin from home. He further sought indulgence of Governor to stem the rot in the functioning of the Civil Secretariat.