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OpinionsCorruption in Haryana: Facts defy the CM’s claims!

Corruption in Haryana: Facts defy the CM’s claims!

Date:

Jag Mohan Thaken

On completion of his government's nine-year term in office, Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar, on October 26,2023 said that in 2014, Haryana found itself in the grip of despair and mistrust. The state was grappling with myriad challenges, and a sense of disillusionment had settled among the people.

He said that in these 9 long years, nepotism and regionalism were replaced by a commitment to equitable development; ensuring resources are allocated based on need, fostering balanced opportunities.

Supporting Khattar's claim of rooting out corruption, the Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation, Amit Shah while addressing the ‘Antyodaya Mahasammelan' at Karnal on November 2, said that earlier there was a rule full of fear, hunger and corruption in Haryana and the law-and-order situation was bad. He alleged that the previous government was a government of Cut, Commission and Corruption.

 

What do the opposition leaders allege?

The General Secretary of the AICC and former Union Minister, Kumari Selja alleges that the corruption is rapidly increasing in the BJP-JJP alliance government, leading to a continuous rise in corruption records for the state government.

Kumari Selja alleges that the leak of HPSC and HSSC papers, corruption in , and officials accepting bribes are all evidence that jobs are not being given without money. Investigations related to the commission in PWD are ongoing. Scams like the paddy and wheat scandal in the Food and Supply Department, the liquor scandal in the Excise Department, the embezzlement of funds meant for the welfare of laborers in the Labor Department, and the registry scandal in the Tehsil have been discussed continuously.

The AAP's Haryana State President, Dr. Sushil Gupta, too alleged that the first evil of the Haryana government is corruption.

 

How are the ‘facts' defying the CM claim?

Celebrating 56th Haryana Day on 01 November, 2021 the Chief Minister, Mr. Manohar Lal Khattar said that transparency in jobs is the main aim of his government. Complete transparency is being exercised in the recruitments being done by Haryana Staff Selection Commission and Haryana Public Service Commission. He claimed that the government has provided 83,000 government jobs over a period of 7 years without ‘Parchi- Kharchi' (No Recommendation – No Bribe').

But just within two weeks the much-hyped slogan of ‘No-Parchi – No Kharchi' dashed to ground when a mountainous multi-crore Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) scam of corruption in recruitment was unearthed and an FIR was lodged by the State Vigilance Bureau (now Anti-Corruption Bureau), on November 17, 2021, against Commission's   Deputy Secretary Anil Nagar   and others. As per a report published on November 8, 2023 in the leading regional English daily from Chandigarh citing Enforcement Directorate (ED) forensic report, the OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) sheets of 13 candidates for the Dental Surgeon recruitment test and 15 for the Haryana Civil Service (Executive Branch) preliminary examination conducted in 2021 were tampered with.

As per ED, version reported in The Tribune, a total of Rs 3.30 crore was recovered, of it Rs 1.08 crore from Nagar's room in the HPSC office and Rs 66 lakh was recovered from the residence of Nagar's friend Ashish Kumar and his father Satish Garg, while another Rs 1.44 crore (belonging to Nagar) was surrendered by Ashish. Another Rs 12 lakh was recovered from Nagar's house.

The Director General of Police and DG of the Haryana Anti-Corruption Bureau claimed that by taking proactive steps this year, the Bureau has underlined its unwavering and steadfast commitment to providing corruption-free governance. But the figures show that the number of corruption cases and persons involved nabbed are increasing year by year.

With 140 trap cases registered by the Bureau from January to the end of October in 2023, the Bureau arrested 31 gazetted officers, 149 non-gazetted officers, and 30 individuals from the private sector. This reflects a substantial improvement compared to last year when 21 gazetted officers, 140 non-gazetted officers, and 26 private individuals were arrested. Similarly, in 2021, the Bureau arrested 8 gazetted officers, 40 non-gazetted officers, and 49 private individuals during this period, indicating an increased vigilance against corrupt activities and a proactive approach in tackling corruption.

The Bureau shared some recent Notable Cases of corruption. The Bureau states — A corruption case involving government officials and private individuals in the Forest Department and Haryana State Warehousing Corporation is under investigation. Dilip Singh, a former Divisional Forest Officer in Haryana State Forest Department, Charkhi Dadri, was found involved in corrupt activities and bribery of ₹300,000. Sunil Kumar, Deputy Forest Range, Badhra, Charkhi Dadri, was also implicated in the corruption case.

A major corruption scandal surfaced in Haryana State Warehousing Corporation, Panchkula, involving the high-ranking government officials and a private individual engaging in bribery amounting to ₹ 300,000. Additionally, as part of the anti-corruption drive, the Bureau has arrested 49 police officers this year for soliciting bribes ranging from ₹ 2000 to ₹ 100,000.

These cases are only a sample one. Most of these corruption cases are trapped by the persons, who even after paying the bribe are being harassed. In most of the instances, the Anti-Corruption Bureau emerges only when someone complains. A major chunk of such cases remains hidden as no one complains.

The day-to-day corruption at Tehsils and Sub-Divisions mostly goes on unheeded. There is hardly a case of sale purchase of land, intkaal entry (Mutation), registration of vehicles, issuance of driving licences etc. where a common man is not fleeced, but they don't echo their voice and end up with murmuring the words of pain due to fear.

The release by the DGP claims this reflects the government's commitment to eradicating corruption and maintaining transparency within its ranks. However, the campaign by the Haryana Anti-Corruption Bureau plays a crucial role in upholding the highest standards of governance and public service, but why are the efforts of the bureau not succeeding in hammering the corruption?

Shouldn't the allegation levelled by Congress leader Kumari Selja that the corruption is rapidly increasing in the BJP-JJP alliance government, leading to a continuous rise in corruption records for the state government, be heeded seriously?

The CM will have to rethink the strategy being adopted to eliminate corruption to succeed in his mission of a corruption free state.

 

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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