DH talkback: Huge response to transfer racket article

'Media must awaken the society without fear', says one reader

\'Your article highlights the unholy nexus between the corrupt government employees and the politicians,\' says K S Ramabhatta, Bengaluru

Our readers have responded in a big way to the Insight story: "Transfer racket: Officials pay in lakhs to get plum posts" and related articles published in the DH edition dated Sept. 2, 2018. The following are the responses from our readers.

- Editor
 
I thank our esteemed Deccan Herald for frankly publishing the essential article in the national interest. Due to the protection and growth of corruption in India, poor people have to suffer. One of the ways to reduce the cost of living and reducing the gap between rich and poor is to introduce strict verification of candidates for the election regarding their character and antecedents and refuse giving tickets. Besides political parties, money is to be strictly checked to avoid malpractices.

- B S Ganesh

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Kudos to DH dated 02.09.2018, for unravelling the truth behind executing transfers of govt employees through politicians. While it is a patented fact that the menace of corruption has its roots embedded in every sphere of human activity, it is foolhardy to assume that this dastardly corruption cannot be extricated through the laws enacted by the GoI. The corruption originated since independence and the political party which ruled the country for six decades didn't have the sublime "will" to curb this menace. On the contrary, it indirectly kept on supporting this corruption in order to fill the coffers of politicians and bureaucrats. The various initiatives of the present government like (1) Encouraging Digital transactions (2) Making IT laws stringent (3) Attaching Benami Properties & strict implementation of its Act, etc. beckons a ray of hope that corruption could definitely be curbed though not eliminated completely. This needs a minimum of another 5-10 years by which time this present Government at the centre enjoys the majority to enact & implement such laws with impunity.

- N Suresh Prasad, Mysuru
 
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Our youths are our real human resource. As Justice Santosh Hegde said we have to awaken our youths, arise them with spiritual education jointly with worldly education. Our worldly education only developed the self without seeing the soul in the body. Our education system made the man selfish and corrupt. Our education system must prepare the youths for selfless service to the real helpless. This must be the duty of the schools and colleges without collecting corrupt donation. Media must awaken the society without fear.

- Sundar Gowda
 
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Your article highlights the unholy nexus between the corrupt government employees and the politicians. It is indeed unfortunate that the Karnataka Government employees who were once known for their impeccable integrity and honesty have become the victims of corruption thus bringing a bad name to the entire workforce. Over the last few years, the corruption in government offices has been institutionalised. In their anxiety to get the posts of their choice, the employees have chosen the political route to bring pressure on their superiors. This has resulted in the quid pro quo situation wherein the employees benefited do not hesitate to share their booty with their political bosses. Successive governments have done precious little to end this phenomenon.

Besides, caste also plays an important role in getting the places of their choice. Over-indulgence of politicians in public administration has resulted in deterioration of efficiency. Honest and hardworking officials are unduly punished by punitive measures such as frequent transfers, posting to nondescript positions, initiation of unwarranted departmental inquiries etc., thereby creating a sense of uncertainty in their minds.

In spite of clear-cut rules and circulars not to bring political pressure for redressal of their personal grievances, quite contrary is happening. Unless the government takes stringent measures to bring down political interference in the executive functioning, the quality of the already deteriorated administration will stoop to a further low thereby creating an atmosphere of hostility and hopelessness among the general public.

- K S Ramabhatta, Bengaluru
 
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Your article on the subject confirms that huge money changes whenever crucial transfer orders are signed in the corridors of power. My suggestion is that things can be made more transparent by creating a website where (transferme.com) the candidates desirous of transfers can place their bids along with the place of preference for postings.
The winning bidder will get his posting approved and the stakes can be shared equally between the government and the stakeholders at the political and bureaucratic levels. The coffers of the government will get filled up fast by this exercise.

- K M R Prasad
 
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I am a regular reader of Deccan Herald newspaper and my response to this week's INSIGHT is, as rightly pointed out by Justice Santosh Hegde, greed is the root cause for this mammoth corruption racket in the government servants transfer process. A government job is like a profitable business in addition to regular salary and a government servant never wants to miss this opportunity. Greedy and corrupt people in the system will never allow a person to do his or her duty honestly and a classic example is of Mr Raju Narayanaswamy, an honest IAS  officer in Kerala government. Adding to this reservation has deterred many honest and efficient youths to go abroad seeking value for their hard work, integrity and efficiency. Every individual and department in government is caught in corruption web knowingly or unknowingly and common people are fed up with this. Honesty is the solution to all this and it has to come from each individual.

- Srihari Sharma MJ, Mysuru
 
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I suggest government form a special team to investigate the tables at least for a month.

1. The one who pays bribe shouldn't be punished because he is into such a situation where he has to pay by hook or crook. If he doesn't pay, the officers would hold his file and start neglecting or start writing against him in the noting sheet.

2. The concerned team or authority should hide the names of the persons who have given the information because the officials may harm them because the officials are highly influential.

3. When the name of the corrupt officer is mentioned, the team should immediately start checking their assets. Some officers even do these transactions through their relatives.
4. The team should immediately arrest the culprit and investigate correctly within the time the pressure comes from the politicians

Then anything can happen...

- Sagar Munavalli
 
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It is said that no law can change the corrupt system but imbibing honesty can. This statement of a most honest erstwhile justice needs some additions.

(1) Promulgate simple & people friendly procedures, relating to all Govt Departments with decentralisation of powers, no sanctions or approvals should be vested at the regional/state level.

(2) Honesty can be taught & practised by the coming generation, only when there is no economic disparity. So, at present these things cannot be implemented by our bosses. Shelter, health, education & marriages are beyond the reach of 85% of our population. What to do now?

- S S Bilgipeer, Vijaypur
 
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It's finally heartening to know that you have addressed this sticky topic for eyes' delight after a long time. I say delight in this sense -- to my dismay many articles, write-ups and plethora of editorials which do not take enough pain to make corruption a discussion point at all.

For the past two years, I have lost my sense of worth in front of government agencies after the once in a lifetime adventure of buying a plot in Bangalore - my dream of owning a home for myself, built to my taste.

Nevertheless, you have quoted facts, figures, designations and the lobbying technique employed and candidly so. I doubt you have just touched the tip of the iceberg only. Santosh Hedge throws up his arms saying there is no end to one's greed, though he is one of few gutsy civil service professionals who took on mining lobby. I pass by every day the special CBI cell set up to investigate the mining scam, in fact one of my neighbours is part of that team. To what extent they have succeeded is to be seen as they have been "investigating" still.

My adventure took shape when my wife's uncle said there is a good plot with A Khata and in a locality predominantly occupied by my community. I told my brother and he was willing to look and decide before leaving abroad. This guy Charles said he was in a hurry and wanted to marry off his son. Since I was in a hurry I too was happy. I got all formalities done, the bank loan was sanctioned and registration was done. I dare not go to the sub-registrar office again. It's mentally traumatic and physically draining even to talk to the officials. Only agents can get it done. My seller took the money and I arranged my driver to drop them back to their native place, until today I cannot trace him or his family.

With building plan approval of BBMP was the first hurdle and it proved more than daunting. This guy at the BBMP office was greatly "helpful" as no one will speak or give information. He took good money for all approvals, even the structural engineer was his guy and he gave all documentation to be uploaded to the approvals site. I realized that online approval is a big sham... All parties involved are hand in glove. My good friend, an interior designer, wanted a different design but the BBMP approved engineer said to abide by what he gives. Later on, we can bypass and build the way we want!!

By September, we began to source a contractor and start work. I had building approval plan in my hand, had work contractor and money from the bank. We set foot on the plot did 'bhumi pooje'. I was excited that the work started. I slept and then awoke to the deadliest news of my life. The contractor called me to come to the site as there were 50 people attacking the workers who ran helter-skelter. I rushed to the spot to find unidentifiable miscreants. The police station is 50 metres from my plot, so I rushed to register a complaint. My ordeal had begun!

My friend who knew some contacts joined me and I came to know the plot landlord had filed an OS in city civil court against my seller two months ago. Armed with this, he had created a fake B Khata based on his Pahani and even entered an agreement with local goon for the same plot. I was shocked...

I produced all documents to the police inspector, I was alone that day and the counterpart had political clout, lawyer and guys who were there because he will feed biryani to all. I protested that it was my plot and they had to prove otherwise. Inspector - who had accepted payment through my friend - delayed occupancy and ordered a survey of the BBMP plot. I was not aware that he could not do that, he also gave a letter to the jurisdictional taluk office to carry out one. My first step of running to survey department started.

To get a compliant copy all is needed is a Rs 10/- RTI request to the police -- I paid 500.

To get it, the photocopy of my opponent's docs produced before the police Rs 2500/- and an entire days' meals to all at the police station.

To get the survey letter addressed to taluk office, transportation of the person to the office and make sure it gets delivered and etc. To get the information if survey will be done -- 2 months, 10 visits, middlemen 20K. The end result, the survey cannot be done as it is under BBMP.

By December, I was upset, my health was taking a toll, my friends could not help and I got served an OS suit by the same landlord which I had to accept and fight. My bank EMIs had started I was losing it. My lawyer fee was paid and he is a friend so saved my skin when all others peeled me away by the skin.

Now I started finding out who is involved - had read in DH about the same situation in Indranagar about a board put up by organisations and took heed when it came up in a newspaper. I went about dissecting the intent, tie up and internal collaboration between agencies and organisations.

With real estate booming and agencies purposefully not implementing stringent rules and if there - not adhering it - was a free for all game. Clout and payments are there. Who is pulling the string? The landlord claiming the part of his share is a "master decoy" of carrying such acts. He had done such things in the past, got paid and had a visiting card claiming him to be part of a political organisation too. He will not come to the police station, claim he is sick at the hospital and will delay. He knew I am in a hurry. Circle inspector coordinated a deal meeting, I went in only to find out he wants entire property value to be paid to him as he is still the OWNER from 1960s. It was too much after I had paid right market value to Charles. The negotiation failed.

With court proceeding starting I saw to it that I am rightly represented. The landlord appeared for the first two hearings. Then vanished for many hearings. Judges changed three times, evidence came up, no sign of the party. Since it was sub-judice I wanted to take possession of plot and with no interim order, I wanted the "board" to be vacated. So went about finding the person who put it up. It reached to the higher up and a good amount almost 500% to what token payment I was willing to pay up was quoted. I dropped that too. Next step was to put a rival with other party to tackle it, I was pointed to some pro-labor union who came with no difference to others. I was simply not convinced and he asked for an agreement, payment to get to put up a rival board. Realised these guys are in the same business.

Am stuck with EMIs, the court is not helping to solve the matter as hearing is passed on, we surely know that there isn't any solid evidence on their side. All other sides like police, BBMP, sub registrar say they cannot. How come a B khata is issued to a bogus Khata number to the same plot? With B Khata converting to A Khata my worries have mounted as the government will have issued two A Khatas to the same property. Who is making money?

A beleaguered Bangalore property owner rightly denied justice!!! Who will help me?

- Robert Philip

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Only a divine intervention can cure it!

"The many faces of corruption" (DH, Sept 2) has in fact exposed the naked truth about corruption in our society. Every political party which ruled the state consecutively are partners in this sad state of affairs. Even the genuine fighters such as Justice Hegde seems to have given up hopes. Definitely, the rot is there not only in Karnataka but in the entire country. And that is the tragedy. Look at the hypocrisy of some political leaders claiming that they are fighting tooth and nail against corruption and almost have succeeded. But the ordinary citizens know that they have to bribe at every turn to survive. It is a sad story and it seems only a divine intervention can cure this crippling disease of our society.

- Ravindranathan P V, Bengaluru
 
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As a great newspaper, I feel, u can do an attempt to correct the sickening situation in the administration. Please employ enthusiastic, young, investigative journalists and expose the greedy corrupt. There are so many of them.....the list is endless. Exposé them. Media is the only hope, with the power of investigative journalism. Just start the process, Deccan Herald will become a hero paper.

- Krishnamurthy Bhoopalam, Shivamogga

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Right from the word go, a Government job has turned into a lucrative Business Activity. It is an investment made in getting a job and then additional investment in getting a plum posting. Then the investment is recovered with interest and savings for generations in the family. Greed is the main cause. No Government Department has money either for development or sometimes even to pay the salaries to the staff. But, most of the Government Employees are filthy rich including a peon in a Government department. The common man sufferings is never ending and the development takes a beating.

To put an end to this corrupt practices my suggestion would be just double the salaries of all the Government Employees from a particular month with a rider that if any employee indulges in corrupt activities, the employee will be dismissed putting the onus on the person to prove the innocence.

- D R Prasad Gupta, Bengaluru
 
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Your article on transfer and postings will raise many eyebrows. You have brought the fact which is continuing for many years. The government has to make the posting and transfers online as done in many other states. Transparency shall be brought in transfers and postings. The intention of taking plum postings by paying the bribe is very clear.
Let this article open the eyes of the government.

- U Subramanya Prasad, Mangaluru
 

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