Skip to main content

Retired IAS babus make beeline to head "toothless" anti-corruption watchdog Gujarat Vigilance Commission

By Our Representative
Four retired bureaucrats of the Gujarat government – Haribhai Patel, HK Dash, Rajesh Kishore and SK Nanda – are said to have made the beeline to head a state organization which is long considered toothless, Gujarat Vigilance Commission (GVC). Patel retired from the IAS in 2014, Dash and Kishore in 2015, and Nanda more recently, in February 2016.
“They have applied for the top GVC post, often used as a sanctuary for high-profile IAS officials who feel dissatisfied”, a senior official in the state government said. “The state home department will decide on whom to choose from among them.”
SK Nanda
Patel retired as state commercial tax commissioner, Dash and Kishore retired while on deputation to Delhi, and Nanda – who was refused chief secetaryship because of his alleged closeness to Congress politicians – last served as chairman and managing director of the state-run Gujarat State Finance Corporation.
A commission, which is supposed to look into complaints – including those received from individuals – of misappropriation by state officials, it is currently headless. At present, additional chief secretary, home, PK Taneja, a serving IAS bureaucrat, is heading the organization as additional charge.
Having recommendatory powers, the GVC website seeks the cooperation of all “right thinking people” eliminate the scourge of corruption by making complaints. “Any member of the public can lodge a complaint with the GVC of those relating to malpractices, misconduct or corruption in public services relating to officers/employees of Gujarat government”, it says.
Ashok Narayan
The website shows that the GVC has released its annual report – which is generally a compilation of the number of complaints it received over the year – till 2013. However, it has not made public annual reports for 2014 and 2015 for unspecified reasons.
The GVC has no powers to begin legal action in case substance is found in the complaint. It makes recommendations, which have to be implemented by the concerned departments. “Therefore, the applicant should find out further progress in the matter from the concerned authorities”, the GVC website says.
Ironically, the GVC has powers to take “appropriate legal action” against an ordinary application, in case the complaint she or he has made is found to be “false.” The website quotes a Gujarat government order in an order warning complainants regarding this so that they refrain from indulging in what it calls “falsehood.”
The recommendations it can make include starting a departmental inquiry against an official, prosecution in case of there is an “element of fraud/misappropriation”, and suspension and transfer to “non-sensitive posts” to facilitate an inquiry. 
HN Chhibbar

Even its recommendations have remained on paper. An inquiry was instituted against IAS bureaucrat HN Chhibbar on the last date of his retirement, November 30, 2011, despite a clear-cut GVC recommendation, which insists such act of chargesheeting officialson the last day should be “avoided”.
Chhibbar, it is widely known, was asked by the chief minister’s office to dig out facts to persecute Congress politician Arjun Modhwadia when he was district collector, Porbandar. Failing to find none, he instead found a BJP leader, Babu Bokhiriya, a Cabinet minister in the current Gujarat government under Anandiben Patel, was involved in a mining scam.
Ashok Narayan, a Gujarat cadre IAS bureaucrat, who failed to be state chief secretary despite being the senior most, is known to have been appointed Gujarat vigilance commissioner in 2003 in controversial circumstances. “It's a toothless body. They don’t give us any powers. What’s the use of these inquiries?”, he reportedly told a senior journalist in Gandhinagar.
Rajesh Kishore
Narayan had won the displeasure of the then chief minister Narendra Modi for refusing, as state home secretary, to give permission to the Gaurav Yatra ahead of the December 2002 Gujarat assembly elections. The Gaurav Yatra was a Modi effort propagate the “pride” of Gujarat against the backdrop of 2002 Gujarat riots.
He remained in office for five long years, and is known to have written several letters to the state government to make the vigilance commission an effective body with semi-judicial powers, but to no avail. Given extension every six months, Narayan was succeeded by former chief secretary Manjula Subramaniam in 2008.

Comments

TRENDING

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Gujarat construction workers walk home as Rs 2,900 crore welfare fund lies unused

By Our Representative
Situated behind the Gujarat University, some of the families of the migrant construction workers from Dahod and Panchmahals districts of Gujarat, and a few from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, who had stayed put in make-shift shanties in Ahmedabad’s sprawling GMDC Ground, have begun a long journey, by foot, back to their home villages in the eastern tribal belt of Gujarat.