Wed. Sep 18th, 2019

Corruption and the corrupt

Shafqat Bukhari

Though people in Jammu & Kashmir are happy to see Governor Satya Pal Malik, his advisors and other top government functionaries talking about the crusade against corruption but they are equally surprised to see governor’s administration recommending and the central government approving the extension of a top bureaucrats beyond his retirement against as Jammu & Kashmir High Court had already passed on very stringent strictures against him in an infamous land scandal case. Ironically both the governor’s administration and as well as the central government are now engaged in legal wrangles over the extension of the top bureaucrat in Jammu & Kashmir high court which had years back directed the government not to put the said bureaucrat on any sensitive position . In contravention of the high court directions, the Jammu & Kashmir government has instead of keeping the top bureaucrat on low key positions to show respect to the high court judgment offered him extension in services for one year on a very key position which is done in rarest of the rare cases purely on the basis of high integrity and exemplary performance. Amid a public outrage over the extension of one year to the said top bureaucrat, a public rights activist from Jammu has dragged both the state and central governments to the court by filing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the state high court over the grant of extension to the bureaucrat in the backdrop of the earlier court directions against him in a very infamous land scandal case. With the decision of both the central and state governments being challenged on merits, there is very little for the governments in Delhi and Srinagar to contest the case on the basis of merits and righteousness.
Choosing to face legal trial over a decision concerning unwanted extension of a bureaucrat of doubtful integrity both the central and state governments have by their deeds disputed their own claims on fight against the corruption and the corrupt. Governor Satya Pal Malik having himself vowed not to spare any corrupt should not have allowed the concerned top functionaries of his administration to recommend the extension in the services of the said top bureaucrat and the incumbent central government blaming the previous popular governments for allowing the corruption to breed ground should not have conveyed its approval to the extension of a bureaucrat against whom the state government has already passed stringent strictures in a land scandal case. So by all standards of administrative and legal understandabilities both the governor’s administration and as well as the incumbent central government have lost the moral right to deliver sermons on fight against corruption and action against the corrupt. Nothing beyond withdrawing the unwanted extension to the controversial bureaucrats on a key position can restore the moral standing of both the state and central government over it commitment on fight against the corruption and the corrupt in the state.

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