Where 'lure of the lucre' spurs demand for lower post

While the fight for promotion is common in all government offices, the sub-registrar offices seem to be an exception.

Many Headquarters Assistants (HQAs), a post equivalent to that of an Inspector of Registration, have been getting re-posted as Additional Sub-Registrars, only to return to the lucrative sub-registrar offices. 

Though the State government has justified the order to re-post as a move to ease workload, Upa Lokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi, who is enquiring into this based on a complaint, has directed the Inspector General of Registration to submit a report. 

The complainant has alleged that the sub-registrar’s post, though a lower cadre than the HQA post, is most lucrative. 

As a result, many sub-registrars avoid getting promoted as a HQA and get re-posted to the sub-registrar office. 

As per the service conditions, the position of a HQA is higher in hierarchy and is filled up by senior sub-registrars once promoted. The complaint stated that all the 30 posts of HQAs had been filled up after promotion, as per the cadre and recruitment rules.

However, through an order in June 2014, the government shifted eight HQAs as additional sub-registrars to sub-registrar offices in Bangalore City. 

The complainant has alleged that there is no such post as additional sub-registrar.

 “Under section 6 and 7 of the service rules, one more post of a sub-registrar can be created in the districts and under section 7, a joint registrar may be posted in cities. However, there is no provision to post a HQA as additional sub-registrar,”' the complaint stated.

“During the course of inquiry, the Inspector General of Registration and the Deputy Inspector General of Stamps and Registration justified the government’s decision, by saying that the order was issued in public interest for smooth administration and to safeguard the government revenue by preventing undervaluation.

 In this regard, details were sought about a number of documents registered during 2013-14 at the sub-registrar offices, where these additional sub-registrars were appointed. 

The statistics revealed that there is no increase in the number of documents registered, instead the number has come down,” the Upa Lokayukta said.

The inquiry has revealed the decision seems to be contrary to the figures of registration of documents and the collection of stamp duty since there are other sub-registrar offices where workload is much higher. 

“People can get the document registered not only in the sub-registrar office in the jurisdiction of which the property is located, but also anywhere in Bangalore City.

 “Moreover, no person would forego his promotion or work as a subordinate to his junior. Workload cannot be a ground to post a HQA as a sub-registrar, which is contrary to the provisions of Registration Act and service conditions,” Justice Adi said.

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