Tainted Officials

Published at October 04, 2018 12:41 AM 0Comment(s)2826views


Tainted Officials

Governing Jammu and Kashmir is seen as a challenge to Governor SP Malik not only because of the fragile law and order situation in the state, but also because of the deep rooted corruption that successive governments have failed to extract the state from. Previous governments did more lip services than take action on the ground. For instance several commissions and anti-graft bodies were constituted but the government itself created hurdles in their smooth functioning, sometimes by leaving them headless and directionless and at times by limiting their powers. Leaving aside all political undercurrents, there were many occasions when the government could have fared better at least on governance front. One of the biggest challenges in governing the state has been to deal with the tainted officials. Perhaps it was this reason that former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed started by getting rid of the tainted officials which his regime termed deadwood. Before anything could have been achieved, the move was abandoned and soon forgotten. From the governance viewpoint, administrators have been at crossroads over the issue of eliminating corruption from government offices. Suspension and termination of services do not seem to deter the tainted officials. Therefore legal action and other deterrents need to be made stronger in order to curb rampant corruption in the state. One of the deterrents can be quashing of post retirement benefits in the case of tainted officials. As is opined, officials would have to think many times if such orders are passed to try anything untoward during their service period. Legal action also needs to be swift as there have been cases reported where the government was unable to do anything for years against the tainted officials via legal route. Cases against tainted officials should not linger and judgments should come as soon as possible. If the state has to be saved from further plummeting into corruption, tough decisions have to be taken. The government must explain why it created commissions and anti-graft bodies, then kept them headless and yet later on tied their hands by approaching courts. The law is the same for everyone, be that a legislator, a tainted official or common man. By providing immunity to the officials, previous governments have made the problem worse. Therefore for the incumbent Governor, to make a change in the state he will have to exert on more than one front. For the state has been wanting that change for a long time now.            

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