State Vigilance Commission records 2,000 cases of graft, embezzlement of funds involving government servants, including IAS officers
Here is a reality check. The schemes that earned the State a good name at the national level for best implementation, ironically are the ones that mostly accounted for corruption in the annual report of the State Vigilance Commission.
Be it Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme or irrigation projects, particularly canal works, housing or payment of compensation to farmers, the Vigilance Commissioner is said to have nailed many cases for misappropriation of funds under these schemes.
The report for the year 2012-13 submitted by Vigilance Commissioner S. V. Prasad to the Governor on Tuesday and to be tabled in the Assembly soon along with action taken report, recorded about 2,000 cases of corruption, embezzlement of funds involving the public servants of all grades, from lower cadre to highest ranking Indian Administrative Services, sources said.
In at least 200 cases, the Vigilance Commission recommended dismissal of tainted employees from service including few municipal commissioners, two Chief Engineers.
Of 2,000 cases, 580 cases pertained to excise department. After the ACB booked hundreds of cases against excise officials last year for irregularities in liquor sales, the Vigilance commission also focused on it. Large number of cases were also related to illegal sand mining in Godavari districts and Khammam and high expenditure departments like MA&UD, Panchayat Raj, irrigation, R&B, mines, medical and health, education, etc.
The Commission took up cases directly besides scrutinising the investigation reports submitted by the ACB or Vigilance and Enforcement wing and gave its report advising action in each of the cases depending on the seriousness of the loss to the State exchequer.
IAS officers in the dock
The charges against IAS officers like Navin Mittal for alleged irregularities in regularisation of encroached lands, A. Vidyasagar for purchases made by the Girijan Cooperative Corporation and some others were not covered by the Vigilance Commission in its report as they were being investigated either by ACB, vigilance or by Lok Ayukta with its own investigation team. Significantly, the Vigilance Commission took cognisance of petitions that came to it through ‘Tapala’ from anonymous sources for investigation when the allegations of corruption were specific, involving public interest and causing loss to the exchequer. Petitions some times helped in unearthing new cases. “The Commission can dig up into the past to trace embezzlement by government servants as there was no time bar to expose irregularities,” sources said.