Catching the corrupt a mockery in Himachal



The recent anti-corruption drive of the Vigilance department touched a new low when the Himachal Government recently reinstated the infamous drug inspector Sher Singh and IAS officer Sanjay Gupta. Both were caught red handed while accepting lakhs in bribes. Sher Singh’s case was an eye opener for us the junta class as we marveled at the money one can make serving as a ‘humble’ government ‘servant’. And sadly, the media too has been silent about it, as usual.

Sample this, a kothi worth just Rs 2 crores, numerous bank accounts, land papers, plots, flats, the list seemed to be unending. When he was arrested, our ruling netas from top to bottom were thumping their chests and announcing on roof-tops: ‘Look here we are and now the people will have corruption-free environment’. Sher Singh have had some powerful godfathers all these years. He was merely a drug inspector who was then asked to look after the work of drug controller as the one before him was also suspended. Since his suspension was revoked he has been given a plum posting of Registrar of the Pharmacy Council.

Earlier there used to be a three-member licensing authority, which was quashed by the present government and all powers were handed over to Sher Singh. In other words, Sher Singh allegedly starting minting money alone, which was earlier being shared by three people. This must have caused heartburns among some quarters, ultimately resulting in his arrest. Those were the earlier days of the present regime with Vigilance given go ahead to flex its muscles and this ‘poor, humble’ servant fell into its dragnet.

Similar has been the case of IAS officer Sanjay Gupta. He too was caught with Rs. 2 lakhs in his person. Since he happens to be from the mai-baap class, nothing can technically happen to him. As they happen to be our lords and masters, they have impunity over all crimes. Case in point is another IAS, Subhash Ahluwalia, who too after being suspended is back to being a humble public servant.

Once the Vigilance catches a person, it recommends a departmental action against the accused. Cases are filed separately with the police. If the government has honest intentions of punishing the guilty, it can chargesheet the accused and hold daily hearings of the departmental enquiry and recommend termination of service. There is no need to pursue the case in courts. But what happens is the opposite. It suspends the accused and files a case in court which drags on for years. The accused is reinstated after some time without directions from any court making the entire exercise futile.

Vigilance seems to be doing its job and catching the guilty regularly. It recently announced a Mega win-a-prize scheme to help catch officials accepting bribes. The informer now will get 15% straight on the amount seized. But this can become a great business for the powerful.

This is a win-win situation for the Powerful. 15% is peanuts to be paid and that too from the seized bribe money. Consider the math to get re-instated. Imagine how much will be later paid by the accused to get back into the service. Hypothetically, any guesses how much money a person like Sher Singh Thakur would be ready to offer from his ‘treasure’?

Few PWD officials were recently caught near Manali and large amount of money was recovered from them. These are from the electrical wing of the PWD whose budget is just 10% of the entire PWD budget of repairing and building roads. Already an officer of the same electrical wing of the PWD was arrested in Shimla while accepting bribes earlier. One can easily draw conclusions about the money being exchanged in the PWD department on the rest 90% budget. No prizes for guessing whose names will be there in the next list of the re-instated officials.

Finally it may boil down to robbing the robber. The accused here cannot even complain of bribing the powerful. A shameful chapter has been initiated in the state. Catching the corrupt and then reinstating them is going to be next big industry in Himachal.

Hats off..!!

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  1. A good piece Nityin! There is another aspect to this whold sham exercise. Some honest but foolish public servants take it as their responsibility to bring to light the rampant corruption in the Public sphere and their persecution starts at the hands of "powers that be"! It serves as a warning to others and no one risks one's career and life reporting the corrupt practices. The corrupt flourish under the very hand of the Government that punishes the innocent. Ironic indeed and pathetic as well. God save my country!

    • No doubt I have had people telling me " Imandari ka zamana nahin samajhdari ka zamana hai " Hum hain ki sudharte hi nahin.

  2. All you people who have ended up submitting comments and also passing crude judgement over what the 'least bit genuine' and lacking in actual facts -Indian media brings you, should sit down and do a bit of brainstorming rather than being extremists and going by what is served on your platter. Mr. Ahluwalia's mention in this article is highly unneccessary as he has time and again proved to be a man of priciples and conducted himself with utter dignity- and this isnt unknown that he was all along framed as a cause of political vendetta and even after that he proved his mettle and character by dealing with everything with grace. Nityin- be balanced with your articles, use the power of the pen to bring out actuality rather than jotting what you think is right !!!!

  3. Your defence of the undefendable is admirable. But I don't totally agree with your line of action. It appears to be a bit flawed logically.If you insist on pointint out Nityin, then I can tell you that will end up finding Nityin's all over the place. So don't fight ghosts, but fight fear my friend.

    Word of advice – Cure lies in finding root cause and not fighting with symptoms.

    Cheers !!

    • AND, you the esteemed, elite, know it all citizens have been given exclusive rights to manipulate and maneuver the thought process of 'us'-the humbler version of the smarter breed of journalists or not, like your respected self. Word of advise- keep your advise to your brood because you do not have the reserved appanage of passing your judgement over my penned down thoughts or about things that you hear as an arbitrator, sitting in a remote corner. Also, your beliefs in your fallacy/judgement are truly 'admirable'.


  4. Corruption eradication…it begins at home.

    Himachal Congress wants 1st February marked as "Corruption Day"…hum har waqt ghoos ka len den karte hain.

    But on 1st Feb. Ghoos ka aadan pradaan jamkar hoga.

    Amma Congress ke it "Anti Corruption Day"!! Angrezi ke saath itna durvyavhaar to mat karo.

    Mr. HK Dua ki team main bhi editor log Hindi Medium waali English ka istemaal karte hain. Brits left India in 1947 but we will continue to maul English till there is life on this planet.

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