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J&K: Corrupt officials may lose pension too!

Source: PTI
November 06, 2006 12:24 IST
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Corrupt bureaucrats in Jammu and Kashmir have more bad news coming their way -- they may lose their pension too besides property acquired through ill-gotten money.

A landmark anti-corruption law enacted in December 2005 empowers the state to attach property of public servants and bureaucrats having assets disproportionate to their legitimate income.

Eight such properties have been attached and 50 more cases are being scrutinised.

Highly-placed sources in the state government said in New Delhi on Monday that a proposal to deny pension to officers found guilty of corruption was being examined.

One year into his office, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad talks with pride about the law initiated by him to attach properties, emphasising that no such law existed anywhere else in the world.

"Jammu and Kashmir is considered as the second most corrupt state in the country. This tag has to be removed and it has been my mission after taking over as the chief minister of the state," he said on completion of his one year in office.

Jammu and Kashmir became the first state where a law to attach ill-gotten property of any corrupt official has been enacted.

Under the law, the onus is on a government servant to prove in a court that the property or assets in question were made from legitimate sources of income.

The chief minister said last 17 years of militancy had been exploited by corrupt elements in the administration and non-performing bureaucrats.

Fake bills have been prepared to withdraw money from the treasury either against sub-standard or no work at many places.

Azad, who piloted the legislation, says, "Corruption has been there for the last 50 years and the menace is a major hindrance in providing good governance. Creation of a corruption-free atmosphere is a pre-requisite to realise my determination to give good governance to the state with responsive and people-friendly administration and a novel work culture."

So far, properties of eight officials, which includes a chief engineer, have been attached by the government while the process of screening in 50 other cases was going on, he said.

About the work culture, he said that any official found indulging in wrongdoing had to face the music.

"The work culture was vitiated. Officials did not go to offices, but got their pay packets. This practice was stopped," Azad said.

He also pointed out that very little had been done towards building the infrastructure in the state.

"Money was received from the Centre but siphoned off due to nexus between politicians and corrupt bureaucrats. This practice needed to stop and already steps have been taken," he said.

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