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Agencies leaking case details to media without proper probe, say Madhya Pradesh IAS officers

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The Madhya Pradesh IAS Officers’ Association has flagged a “recent trend” among State probe agencies of leaking details of cases, including those filed against government officials, to the media without proper inquiry into them, thereby demoralising officials and affecting decision-making.

The association’s president Gauri Singh has written to Chief Secretary S. R. Mohanty requesting an advisory be issued to the agencies asking them to objectively inquire into cases, at the same time uphold the reputation of institutions and individuals.

“This needs to be discouraged so as to prevent media trial by yellow journalists,” she wrote.

Informing the top bureaucrat that officials often took complex decisions, she said, “There are cases, where stakeholders/competitors who have been adversely impacted by the final decision, approach courts to challenge these decisions or file complaints before relevant entities. It is expected that these investigating agencies will objectively inquire into these complaints ”

Ms. Singh referred to newspaper reports here on October 16 relating to alleged irregularities by an official of the Urban Development Department - named in reports - in the award of a 300-crore tender to set up an Integrated Command Control Centre in the city.

The official heading the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), she claimed, surprisingly briefed the media on it “without seeking the facts and details from the department”.

No information regarding the centre was sought by the EOW from the department, she alleged. “This is a dangerous trend that even without ascertaining the facts agencies go to the press which has implications for the image of the officer as well as the State’s functioning.”

This would discourage officials, she wrote, to undertake any decision in the interest of citizens. “Moreover, section 13 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act envisages that there has to be clear and indisputable correlation of an illegal action by an officer to warrant any action,” she added.

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Printable version | Nov 22, 2019 8:35:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/agencies-leaking-case-details-to-media-without-proper-probe/article29752695.ece

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