Patna: Call it the AAP effect. The Bihar government has decided to wage a war on corruption and 576 officers and employees are likely to be dismissed from service within two months over graft allegations. Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday reviewed the progress in the investigation of corruption cases against these officers and employees.
Since departmental proceedings against 187 of the 576 government employees are in the final stages, it is expected that they would be dismissed within a week, chief secretary A K Sinha said after a meeting with the CM. Nitish has asked the chief secretary to hold weekly meetings with the department heads and district magistrates (DMs) to review the progress in investigation of corruption cases.
During a videoconference with DMs and SPs in the presence of top officials, Nitish said the government has zero tolerance against corruption. He said the government would not revoke suspension of corrupt officers as they contest their cases in court with government money.
The DMs have been given more powers to deal with corruption cases. Now, they will not need to approach the departments concerned for taking action against officers and employees. Since most of the complaints come against block development officers (BDOs) and circle officers, the DMs have been empowered to suspend or transfer them, the chief secretary said.
At district level, more police and civil officials will be posted to strengthen vigilance units. The CM suggested that the vigilance department be strengthened on the pattern of the CBI.
Officials have been directed to speed up departmental proceedings against those facing corruption allegations and initiate dismissal process in such cases. The government would introduce a crash course at Bihar Institute of Public Administration and Training to train officials in speedy disposal of department proceedings, the chief secretary said.
DGP Abhyananad said 55 police officers faced corruption charges last year and 42 of them had already been dismissed. He said the agents and touts would also face action and their properties attached under the Money Laundering Act. Police conducted raids at several district transport offices in Ara, Sheikhpura, Madhepura, Gaya and Biharsharif last week and caught over two dozen touts, DTOs and motor vehicle inspectors.
DG (vigilance) P K Thakur said 19 corrupt officials, including chief engineers, superintending engineers, jailers and BDOs, were convicted last year. S K Negi, principal secretary of vigilance department, said the six special vigilance courts had ordered the attachment of property of 11 corrupt officers.