Memorandum submitted to H.E. the Governor of KarnatakaGovmemo

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MHJV:HE:01:2007 July 19, 2007

His Excellency the Governor of Karnataka,

Rajbhavan, Bangalore.

Your Excellency,

Sub:Bad Governance, Corrupt practices in Government

exposed using RTI Act 2005- Pray for action to curb

corrupt practices and to provide Good Governance.

We are a group of RTI Activists creating public awareness and trying to expose corrupt practices, maladministration and bad Governance using RTI Act.

We are inspired by your Excellency’s address on this Republic Day and in Joint Session of the Karnataka Legislature at Belgaum. Your Excellency has clearly spelled out the Policy of your Government that the corrupt practices however small they are to be condemned and the Honesty should be upheld. It is very unfortunate that the Government provides information under the RTI Act stating that there is no information available with them about the action initiated to implement the policy pronounced by your Excellency on curbing the corrupt practices and to uphold the Honesty.

When information was sought about the High level Committee on anti-corruptiion chaired by the Chief Secretary, an endorsement was given stating that no information exists in this regard. However after filing an appeal with the Information Commission and after giving evidence from the Government's own website it has been established that the Committee has been made non-functional.

This may be the first step of the Government towards encouraging corrupt practices and bad Governance and marching the State to take first place in corrupt practices from its present fourth place.

Your Excellency, we may kindly be permitted to refer the letter issued by the Government of India in July 2004 directing all the State Governments to constitute a Standing Committee to protect the interest of the Honest Officers. This was issued subsequent to the death of Shri Satyendra Dubey a whistle blower. Karnataka has not

put in any little effort to constitute such a standing Committee and thus the harassment to Honest Officers and whistle blowers are unheard

We respectfully bring to your kind notice the maladministration, corrupt practices and bad Governance that is prevailing in the Departments mentioned herein:

1. Department of Personnel and Administration Reforms:

a) When details were sought about transfer policy for IAS officers under RTI Act, information was given stating that there is no transfer policy. However after filing an appeal with the information Commission and arguing before the Commission files were allowed to be seen and they revealed the existence of a transfer policy for IAS officers.

There is an instance of issuing transfer orders to Sri MN.Vijayakumar,IAS seven times in nine months totally violating Government's own policy just because he reported corrupt practices of senior officers. He is trying to expose the corrupt practices in various government departments. He was also trying to bring in transparency in Administration wherever he was posted. Information obtained under RTi Act reveals that Shri Vijayakumar has repeatedly requested the chief Secretary to constitute Standing Committee to hear his grievances. He was advised by the Chief Secretary that he should not be bothered about the corrupt practices in the Government except in the department concerned to him. He further stated that Vijayakumar may go to lokayukta or any other agency and report that the Chief Secretary is not bothered about corruption and refused to take action on corrupt practices.

This officer was posted to Mysore Lamps, a Company which the Government has decided to close down and even after posting there, he was not given any facility to carry out his duties. This Officer has to use RTI Act to know his duties in the company to which he was posted as Managing Director. At one point of time when he has exposed the corrupt practices in the Company, the Government has even denied him as Managing Director of that Company, much contrary to the communications / Notification issued by the Government. This is the height of Bad Governance.

Moment Mr. Vijayakumar proposed the revival plan for Mysore lamps and published the same in the web site for information to public; he has received one more order of transfer to CADA Belgaum. This has occurred at the time when he and his family approached the appropriate authorities to seek protection to him and his family as they have an apprehension of threat to their lives.

Leading kannada daily “PRAJAVANI” reported quoting that the Chief Minister has instructed to give posting to this officer, the place of his choice or to depute his services to Central Government. In spite of such instructions the concerned department has failed to provide him the security and not even made arrangements to disburse his salary due to him for several months but forcing him to report at Belgaum.

Information obtained under RTI Act states that the Water resources department has not made any request to Government to post this officer at its disposal for posting him to CADA Belgaum.

We request that Your Excellency to direct the Government to post Shri M.N.Vijayakumar to his earlier position as Managing Director Mysore lamps, for which he has submitted

a revival plan in public Interest. This revival plan is separately submitted before your Excellency. This revival plan also has energy saving proposal.

b) The Department of Personnel and Administration Reforms has issued guidelines for issuing Executive orders to create / upgrade posts for which Cadre and Recruitment rules are not available. This Official memorandum issued on 1-8-1996 clearly state that such up gradation / creation of posts by issuing Executive orders should be made only

for an Administrative necessity in the Public Interest. Some departments are misusing these guidelines and issuing Executive orders just to provide promotion opportunities to public servants. Such orders are not properly scrutinized by the DPAR.

One such Executive order is issued on 5-2-2007 by the Health and Family welfare Department to provide promotion opportunity to a drugs Inspector. This was done at the time when this Public Servant was subjected to preliminary Investigation by the Lokayukta for dereliction of duty of not performing his statutory responsibilities. Our Vedike has bought this to the notice of the Health and family welfare department, DPAR and requested to cancel the Executive order issued to this effect. We request your Excellency to direct the Government to properly scrutinize proposals for issue of such Executive orders and to cancel those Executive orders issued only to provide the opportunity for promotion to a Public Servant.

c) DPAR guidelines (Not the Service Rules) issued in the year 1985, immediately after the Karnataka Lokayukta Act 1984 came into force allow the Department Promotion Committees to recommend promotion of a Public Servant when prima-facie evidence of dereliction of duty and misconduct exists, but the Departmental enquiry is not instituted. This guideline facilitates the promotion of a tainted Public Servant. There are incidents where the Government delays the institution of Departmental enquiry even after the prima facie evidence is available and thus facilitate the promotion of a tainted public servant. Cases investigated by the Lokayukta and in the cases where investigation taking place on a complaint by a citizen, whole exercise of proving charges by the complainant during the preliminary investigation goes in vein and the tainted officer will be recommended for promotion pending departmental enquiry. In the interest of the Complainant and also to uphold the Lokayukta Institution for all its efforts in bringing into books the tainted Public Servants, it is necessary to make amends to this DPAR guidelines.

d) In a recent ruling of the Karnataka Information Commission it is observed that the files pertaining to information sought under RTI Act were not traceable and deemed to have been lost. Commission also observed that there are no guidelines made by the

Government to fix the responsibility on any Public Servant in case of missing files and

the iles that are reported lost. This situation is alarming. Any important files, documents can be lost and no public servant is held responsible. There is a case of alleged misappropriation of funds by a Public Servant in the AYUSH ( Ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha and Homoeopathy) Directorate and a committee constituted to conduct enquiry of the alleged misappropriation discharge the Public Servant of the allegations quoting that only those files, documents pertaining to misappropriation are not traceable and deemed to have been lost. Committee has not bothered to fix the responsibility of losing files on any body and in particular on the Public Servant who was facing charges of misappropriation. There is no surprise that the said Public Servant will be shortly recommended for promotion.

e) Government has recently appointed an Information Commissioner who has earlier held the Office of the Chairman of the State Public Service Commission. It is the opinion of some of the constitutional experts that once a Chairman of State Public Service Commission shall not hold any office of profit except the member/ chairman of State Public Service Commissions and Union Public Service Commission. We request your Excellency to appropriately advise the Government to uphold the sanctity of the State Information Commission. We also request your Excellency to advise the Government to appoint Judicial Officers as State Information Commissioners and State Chief Information Commissioner as and when required.

f) DRAR (AR) which is monitoring the implementation of RTI Act 2005, has not taken the Act seriously and no efforts have been made to bring in public awareness about the Act. The Public Information Officers and Public Authorities are also many a time not respecting the provisions of the Act. We request your Excellency to direct the Government to take all possible measures including publicizing in media about the Act to create Public awareness and thus bring in transparency in Government administration.

2. Department of Commerce and Industries and Department of Public Sector Enterprises.

a) Most of the Public Sector Enterprises, once the pride of the State is either closed, declared sick or in the verge of closure. This has happened not because of workers unrest, marketing problems, Raw material problems etc., but for the bad administration, corrupt practices and hunger for Real Estate. Mysore Lamps, the company founded by Sir M.Vishveshvaraiah is no exception.

It is understood from the information obtained under RTI Act that the department has given affidavit before the Hon’ble High Court that the revival of Mysore Lamps is not only possible but also not in the Public Interest. At this juncture a Principal Secretary Grade IAS Officer was posted here as Managing Director. He has observed the maladministration and corrupt practices in the company and gave report to the Government. He also gave a revival plan for this Company without further investment from the Government. This revival plan contains in itself a energy saving plan also. Instead of referring this revival plan to a technical Committee the Government has issued marching orders to this Officer Shri MN Vijayakumar. It is also understood that there are only about less than 50 employees of this Company have approached the High Court asking for revival. It is not the case of just 50 employees. Revival of this company is needed not for just these 50 employees but in the larger interest of the State. We request Your Excellency to direct the Government to consider the revival proposal for this company in the larger interest of the State and thus refrain the Real Estate lobby from gulping up the vast land in the prime locality belonging to this company.

3. Directorate of AYUSH ( Ayurveda, Yoga and naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) under the Department of Health and Family Welfare

Government of India is encouraging the development of Indian System of Medicine. Our State has failed to take full advantage of this situation to develop this Science in the State. The Central Government grants are not at all utilized fully. The AYUSH Directorate has become totally corrupt and inefficient. All the past directors, except the one who has served for just 2 years are no doubt good Physicians but not good administrators. The present one is no exception. This has made the Directorate totally inefficient and corrupt. The situation has further worsened after the present Director took charge in the year 2005. He has no control over his staff. He is not able to take decisions. He thinks he is only a signing authority for the “NOTINGS” prepared by his staff and officers. There are many incidents of his shielding the corrupt, lazy, carefree staff members. He is shirking his responsibilities on almost all occasions. The Government also did not give much importance to this Directorate. This is time that the government to find a suitable position for the present Director outside the AYUSH Directorate in the larger interest of developing the Indian System of Medicine in the State at par with the neighboring States.

At present the Directorate is reaching a stage where a major surgery is needed to make it work, failing which not only the Directorate becomes obsolete but also the development of Indian System of Medicine declines and at one stage may see its end.

We are not listing out the administrative lapses and corrupt practices. They will be exposed once the Administrative Audit and Performance Audit are taken up by the Comptroller and Auditor General Of India. One example could be recommending promotion of undergraduate ( B.S.A.M) Assistant Professors as Professors much against the rules framed by the Central Council of Indian Medicine. Irony is that these Assistant Professors were given opportunity by the Government to go for post graduation at the Government cost and failed to qualify themselves as Post Graduates. If such promotions are accorded by the Government Ayurveda colleges what could be expected by the Private Ayurveda Colleges. They also follow suit and the standard and quality of Doctors rolling out of these colleges are always questionable.

The Directorate calls for tender for supply of medicines to the hospitals and dispensaries spread all over the State. Lakhs of rupees exchange hands between suppliers and officials which will have a direct impact on the quality of drugs supplied .

We request Your Excellency to advise the Government to upgrade the Directorate to a Commissionerate by posting a Secretary grade IAS Officer as Commissioner AYUSH.

We also request your Excellency to direct the Government to order Administrative / performance Audit from CAG and also to evaluate the utilization of funds allocated to this Directorate by the State and Central Government.

Thanking You,

We remain,

Sincerely Yours

FOR MAHITI HAKKU JAGRUTI VEDIKE

J.S.D.PANI

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