Chhattisgarh government has set up enquiry committees in several corruption cases against its employees referred to it by the Lokayukta, a report by the Accountant General (AG) has stated.
After Lokayukta’s recommendation, the state government has constituted an enquiry committee and officers at the levels of Chief Executive Engineer, Janpad and district panchayat, Joint Director, Additional Collector, Executive Engineer, Superintendent Engineer and Chief Engineer were appointed as enquiry officers.
The enquiry by a non-legal officer after recommendation of probe by a Chief Justice of High Court is proving the purpose of establishment of Lokayukta as meaningless, said the report by AG, which act as distant arm of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
The report, which was accessed through RTI by activist Ajay Dubey, was prepared after inspecting documents for the period between December 2008 and June 2013. The audit was conducted by AG officials between August 2-6.
Chhattisgarh Lok Ayog Adhiniyam (or Act), 2002 provides for appointment of an authority or authorities for the enquiry into specific information of misconduct or complaint against certain public servants.
The Act mandates that the state authorities will complete probe within three months on the corruption cases referred to it by the Lokayukta.
It was also found during the audit that as many as 98 such recommendations were sent to the concerned state government officials by Lok Ayog or Lokayukta. Out of these, action has been taken in 43 cases and no action was taken in 55 others which were under consideration of the state government.
The state government is informing within three months about the initiation of enquiry after receiving recommendation from Lok Ayog. But seven cases between 2008-10, eleven for the period between 2010-11 and 19 cases of 2011-12 were still pending, it said.
The AG report also found huge pendency of the cases in Lokayukta itself. Over 1,300 corruption cases were pending in the Lokayukta, some for about a decade, it said.
“Chhattisgarh Lokayukt came into effect from 2002 and since then (till June 30, 2013) total 3,414 cases were registered or received in the Ayog of which, only 2,095 were disposed off (leaving a pendency of 1,319),” it said.
During test check of record, it was noticed that by the end of 2012 as many as 233 cases of the previous year were pending.
“Further scrutiny of records revealed that five cases pertaining to 2003, six for 2004, three for 2007, 11 for 2008, 19 for 2009, 28 for 2010, 46 for 2011 and a huge 115 for 2012 are still pending,” the AG’s report stated.
In reply to the query by the AG officials, it was stated that cases were piling up due to requirement of detailed enquiry on the cases which takes time. Appointment of Lokayukt is also done at the Government level, the report said.
The report also found that about Rs 1.66 crore of excess budget, meant for Special Investigation Establishment or Lokayukta police, lying with the authorities.
Approval for 39 posts of Lokayukta police under Lok Ayog was given in March 2003. But despite the sanctioned strength, only nine posts have been filled and 30 other posts are still lying vacant, as on August 2013, it said.
The state government had allocated about Rs 3.18 crore to the Ayog between 2009-13 -- Rs 57.85 lakh during 2009-10, Rs 68.85 lakh in 2010-11, Rs 81.80 during 2011-12 and Rs 1.10 crore in 2012-13.
Of which Rs 1.66 crore was given back to the government after spending rest of the allocated amount, the report said.
The authorities, when asked by the AG officials, said the budget was being allocated against the proposed vacancies.
The reply was not accepted by the auditing team, it added.