On receiving allegations against IAS officer C. Umashankar that he possessed assets “disproportionate to known sources of his income,” wherein prima facie material was available, the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) was requested to conduct a detailed enquiry and submit a report, the State government has submitted before the Madras High Court.
The submission was made in its counter to a writ petition filed by the IAS officer seeking to forbear authorities from conducting any enquiry against him.
The counter filed on behalf of the Chief Secretary and the Public and Rehabilitation Secretary, D. Jothi Jagarajan, stated that if the enquiry revealed no basis for the allegations and the DVAC's report was accepted by the authorities, the proceedings would be dropped.
If it revealed prima facie material, it was for the authorities to take a decision on whether to initiate criminal proceedings under the Prevention of Corruption Act or initiate disciplinary proceedings under the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules.
The enquiry was purely for fact-finding. The petitioner could not claim any immunity when prima facie material was available. It was not correct for the petitioner to find “imaginary reasons of malicious nature,” for his transfers and use them to stall the enquiry.
The petitioner had denied appointment to the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), DVAC, and not furnished details of his assets to him. He had, therefore, contravened All India Services (Conduct) rules and was liable for disciplinary action. To evade this he had filed the writ petition, the counter said.
In a separate counter, the DSP, S. Thirunavukarasu, submitted that a detailed enquiry was ordered by the government in accordance with laid down procedure. He was entrusted the job of conducting it as per the DVAC Manual. It could not be termed illegal.
Keywords: disproportionate assets