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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Group 'C' Employees Must Be Brought Under Lokpal : Team Anna

              New Delhi, Dec 5: Team Anna today rejected Government’s proposal of excluding lower bureaucracy from Lokpal’s ambit, saying they must be covered to fight graft like alleged swindling by Group C employees of over Rs 30,000 crore worth of ration annually meant for poor. 
The Hazare supporters found fault with both the government version of Lokpal as well as the one proposed by Aruna Roy-led NCPRI, saying all sections of employees and politicians collude with each other and there should be one agency covering the whole bureaucracy. 
“They don’t indulge in corruption separately,” Team Anna said in a statement, rejecting government’s proposal of covering lower bureaucracy under Central Vigilance Commission and NCPRI model of police first investigating the case and not under Lokpal.
Insisting on inclusion of lower bureaucracy in the Lokpal, they said inspectors accused of corruption were Group C employees. In states, maximum corruption takes place at the level of Group C employees, they alleged. 
“Almost Rs 30,000 crores worth of ration meant for poor people is annually siphoned off by Group C employees.  Thousands of crores of leakage takes place in NREGA works at the level of Group C employees. Panchayat Secretary and officials are Group C employees. Huge amount of corruption takes place in panchayat works,” the statement said. 
Contesting government’s argument that the bringing entire bureaucracy under Lokpal would make it unwieldy, it said if one goes by international standards, India needs 28,500 anti-corruption staff in CVC to check corruption of 57 lakh employees.
“CVC has a staff strength of 230 employees. Does the government plan to provide 28,500 additional workforce to them?...If that argument is accepted, then won’t CVC become unwieldy?” it asked.
“How can we assume that high level corruption is done by Group A and B officials only and how can we assume that Group C officials indulge in petty corruption? There have been instances when Group C officials have colluded and indulged in scams worth thousands of crores especially in NREGA and PDS.  In contrast, there have been instances, when Group A officers have been caught taking bribes less than Rs 10,000,” Team Anna said.
They also noted that CVC does not have police powers and it cannot register a criminal case.
Questioning the rationale behind having two police stations under Lokpal and CVC, the statement said, “if a road in front of one’s house breaks down a few days after construction, it indicates that corruption has taken place. 
“However, one would not know if this corruption was done by Group A, B, or C officials. So in which police station should an FIR be filed in this case - CVC or Lokpal?” it said. 
Opposing NCPRI model of first approaching police and then Lokpal, Team Anna said, this may lead to delay in every investigation as in twould ultimately land up at Lokpal as a complaint or appeal.
Team Anna claims that their proposal is for a decentralised system where Lokpal would set up a police station in every district and Lokayukta in every block.
For corruption in a central government department, a citizen could register an FIR at the nearest Lokpal police station in the district and for corruption in any state Government, a citizen could register FIR in the nearest Lokayukta Police Station in that block, it said.
Courtesy :, 05 Dec, 2011

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