Puri, Apr 3: Orissa CM Naveen Patnaik seem to be determined to root out corruption in the state and plans to shame those involved in graft cases rather publicly. The CM has decided to post a list the “corrupt” on the state vigilance department’s website.
Earning the honour as the first state to put such a list in the public domain, vigilance department chief Surendra Panwar said that Orissa has become the first state to make public the names of people, government officials and others, facing corruption cases.
Among the many featured in the list is Journalist Chandrabhanu Patnaik, the editor of a local television channel against whom a vigilance case was filed in Jan 2009.
Similar to the Central Vigilance Commission, the state website has two sections namely the Agreed List and Suspect List. The Central agency had posted such a list of corrupt persons more than two years ago.
Orissa’s corrupt list has 351 names in the Agreed List category and 368 names in the Suspect List category. The names have been included from across all 14 government departments.
Other prominent names in the list includes a member of Orissa Arbitration Tribunal, a former director of mines, contractor B Prabhakaran, miner Diptiranjan Patnaik, treasury officers, accounts officers, traffic inspectors, motor vehicle inspectors, regional transport officers, and even several clerks.
Panwar also added, “Persons enlisted in the Suspect List and Agreed List would be closely watched by both the Vigilance and their departments and their postings would be regulated and monitored. But promotion and posting for the officers in the Suspect List are restricted.”
Panwar explained the method on how these names were put p in this list and stated that the vigilance officials had to dig up information regarding the cases they were involved in, cases they were chargesheeted in and tried in, in the last 20 years.
The move has not found favour with corruption watchdog Transparency International India. Biswajit Mohanty, board member of Transparency International India has been quoted as saying, “Since the names of officers who were supposed to be monitored is out in the open... thereby taking out the surprise value.”
Mohanty added that in spite of complaints registered with the CM alleging corruption charges against seven Orissa cadre IAS officers and seeking permission to prosecute them, the state government refused to sanction it especially for two people namely - S N Tripathy and Injeti Srinivas.
Mohanty commented that certain cases against these corrupt officials have been pending for more than five years with the accused officials enjoying official postings in critical government departments with budgets of more than Rs 2,000 crores.
He also alleged, “The CM is protecting senior IAS officers accused of corruption by failing to accord sanction within the mandatory two months period as per guidelines issued by the General Administration Department.”