The BJP government in Uttar Pradesh appears to have double standards even while dealing with corruption. While it claims to follow Zero Tolerance to corruption and claims it has forced hundreds of government employees to retire and dismissed many more, it is strangely coy in taking action against class I and class II officers.
It takes action against police constables and lower level employees but spares IAS officers from whose houses CBI claims to have recovered wads and wads of currency notes during raids.
On Thursday, a UP Government spokesman claimed that 81 policemen in Kanpur, Meerut and Varanasi were given voluntary retirement because of their non-performance and involvement in corrupt practices.
He also informed that in one year the Yogi Government had taken action against 618 employees, 201 of whom were given VRS while the rest were given punishment as per the law.
This list does not specify the cadre of the officers but a senior government official admitted on condition of anonymity that the list comprised a majority of Class III and Class IV employees.
“Nobody dares to touch IAS or PCS (Provincial Civil Services) officers in this government,” he said.
This officer has a point and exposes the commitment of the Yogi Government to its avowed Zero tolerance to corruption.
On Wednesday this week, CBI raided the residence of two IAS officers for their connection in illegal mining. One of them was District Magistrate, Bulandshahr Abhay Singh and other Vivek Kumar. Houses and office of Devi Sharan Upadhyaya, CDO Azamgarh, were also raided the same day.
Soon the news spread that CBI has asked for currency counting machines in Bulandshahar raising apprehension of the recovery of large amounts of cash from DM sahib’s bungalow.
In the evening CBI spokesman R K Gaur claimed that the agency had recovered around ₹49 lakh from the premises of Abhay Singh, DM Bulandshahr. He was booked in an illegal mining case in Fatehpur where he was as District Magistrate in 2014.
The CBI also recovered ₹10 lakh from the premises of Devi Sharan Upadhyaya, who was posted as Additional DM of Deoria in 2014.
The officers, it was anticipated, would be suspended or dismissed given the state government’s zero tolerance to corruption.
But curiously no action was taken against them. They were merely transferred and put on waiting. In the evening Abhay Singh came up with a statement that CBI did not find anything incriminating from his residence. “Whatever was found is well accounted for,” he said.
Thus, ₹49 Lakh which the CBI spokesman claimed had been recovered from DM’s bungalow was well accounted for in less than 24 hours and .
As per administrative parlance `wait listing’ is nothing but a cooling off period for the officer. The officers will get a posting, may be even prize posts, once the dust settles down.
The government will continue taking action against the junior officers while the IAS officers will continue to enjoy the perks.