Government has also approved prosecution of three IPS and 22 IRS officials under Prevention of Corruption Act during the period.
The Centre has registered only 23 corruption cases against the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers in the last three and half to four years.
According to Ministry of Personnel records, 23 corruption cases have been registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act from 2015 to 2018 (till February). While 16 cases were registered in 2015, the number came down to two in 2016 and four in 2017. There are about 5,000 IAS officers across the country. Besides IAS officers, the government has approved sanction for prosecution against three officials of the Indian Police Service (IPS) and 22 officials from the Indian Revenue Service (IRS), during this period. Following this, four IAS officers, one IPS officer and eight from IRS were dismissed.
Corruption was a major issue in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. However, the slow pace of action against bureaucrats has come as a disappointment. “IAS officers are the backbone of bureaucracy. There have often been reports about corruption within the bureaucracy, which is affecting development works. We had hoped that the present NDA government would crack the whip against such officers. But we have seen that the government has not been pro-active in taking action against corrupt officers. However, its pace (of taking action against such officers) is almost the same as that of the previous UPA government,” said an RTI activist and crusader against corruption, Gopal Prasad.
Interestingly, the government had admitted in 2014 that prosecution sanctions were granted against 39 IAS officers since 2011-12. That means action has been initiated against only 62 IAS officers for corruption in the last about six years. However, the government has been pro-active in case of other Central government officials. The CBI registered as many as 314 corruption cases in the first six months of this year, while at least 225 Central government officers were punished for non-performance of duties over the same period of time, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said in a statement while replying to a question in Parliament this week.
Interestingly, 632 cases of corruption were registered by the agency in 2017, while 673 and 617 corruption cases were registered in 2016 and 2015 respectively, said the minister.
Singh also said that during 2017 and March 2018, vigilance clearance has been denied to 80 IAS officers on the ground of filing Immovable Property Returns after prescribed time or for failing to file it. From 2014 onwards, sanction for prosecution has been granted against three IAS officers on account of having disproportionate assets.