Toothless Lokayukta unable to punish erring DPAR officials

Toothless Lokayukta unable to punish erring DPAR officials

A severely weakened Lokayukta institution finds it helpless to punish two junior officials who tampered with DPAR records and withheld information about its investigation from the department's top bureaucrats.

The Upalokayukta found the breaches while probing a complaint by a freedom fighter and recommended criminal action against the two Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms junior officials –Undersecretary Manjunath and section officer K R Puttarudrayya-- in November.

But in a clear disregard for the Lokayukta  institution, which has become obvious after the government stripped the institution of its powers, it is yet to receive details on action taken against the officials or dispersal of pension to the freedom fighter.

The freedom fighter, S Adinarayana Reddy, filed his complaint in 2013 saying his pension was still not granted.

Chikkaballapura Deputy Commissioner submitted before Upalokayukta that he is yet to receive any response for the two recommendations for Reddy's pension sent to DPAR. Following no action taken report', DPAR's undersecretary was summoned in March.  

"He sought a fresh recommendation," an official said. "At this stage, a notice was served to DPAR Principal Secretary. When he did not turn up (to respond at Lokayukta), a bailable warrant was issued in May. The same day, the section officer appeared unauthorized and said no Principal Secretary was posted at DPAR."

The Lokayukta grew suspicious and checked with the Additional Chief Secretary, when it emerged that the senior officials of DPAR were never informed of the notices from Lokayukta. The Undersecretary also issued endorsements to both Lokayukta and the complainant without authorisation of the higher officials.

"The duo also prepared a report without the knowledge of their seniors in DPAR," the official added.

 

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