Srinagar: With Governor NN Vohara seeking names of bureaucrats who have not submitted their annual property return statement to the government, the General Administration Department (GAD) Tuesday claimed that the list of officers not submitting property statements will be soon forwarded to the Governors secretariat.
“Yes Governor NN Vohara has sought list of officers who have not submitted property statements. We are working on the directions. The list is being prepared and soon will be forward to the Governor’s secretariat,” Commissioner Secretary GAD told this early times correspondent here in the civil secretariat.
As per Jammu and Kashmir Public Men and Public Servants Declaration of Assets and other Provisions Act 1998, every public servant, including a KAS officer, is required to submit annual returns of the assets held by him and the family members to GAD in January-February every year. . However sources said that several KAS officers including other officials have failed to submit their annual property returns of 2017 to the government.
Sources said that even several IAS officers have failed to submit property statements.
“Irony is that many of these officers are themselves heads of departments either administrative secretaries or Directors of various Government departments,” sources maintained.
Sources say that many IAS / KAS officers of J&K who have submitted the property statements are not correct and needs to be investigated thoroughly. Many officers who have submitted property statements have not mentioned the present market value of the property which is an offence.
Pertinently following the observations that employees are not submitting the requisite annual property statements to the competent authorities, the government had directed all the controlling/drawing and disbursing officers to strictly direct all the officers/officials to furnish the statements in time and that any lapse will be reflected in the APRs/ACRs.
Official sources say that there is a huge default in the submission of the property statements by the employees of various departments who are bound under the government ruling to submit property statements. The government in its circular had directed all the controlling/drawing and disbursing officers to direct all the officers/officials to furnish the statements.
The circular reads as: “it has been noticed with concern that officers/officials are not submitting the requisite annual property return statements to the competent authorities resulting in to no compliance of standing government instructions issued from time to time in this regard,”
“It is Clarified here that as per the Sub section 2 of section 9 of the Jammu and Kashmir Public men and public servant declaration of assets and other provisions Act, 1983 and clause (III) Rule 2 of the J&K public servants declaration of assets and other provisions Rule, 1998 read with SRO 415 of 2003 dated 11.12.2013 in which it has been clearly indicated that every public servant has to submit Annual property return statements of the assets held by him and his family members in the month of January every year and shall indicate the reason for increasing, if any, in the assets and source thereof.
“Further the members of all India Services (IFS) are also required to proceed in advance with Rule 16 of All India services (conduct) Rule 1968 read with DoP&T, MOPG&P Government of India’s.) No 6(1(2014-EO (PR) dated 22.12.2016 where under every members are required to submit the detailed property returns to the prescribed authority,” the circular reads.
It is worthwhile to mention that in the year 2012 the then State Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) G R Sufi in the case titled Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat V/S FAA / PIO General Administration Department (GAD) had also directed all the IAS and KAS officers to submit the annual property statement on GADs official website. Before the said order was passed some IAS officers had shown resentment to reveal property details under RTI Act and had invoked section 8 wherein they anticipated threat on their lives if the information was revealed. The then CIC G R Sufi had ridiculed the written statements made by some IAS officers which included Ms Tanveer Jehan the then Commissioner Secretary PWD (now retired).
Meanwhile official sources told property statements in government departments, if submitted from the employees during the previous government, were not being put under examination and even more no check and balance were maintained by the government.
One of the top employees of the government on condition of anonymity said that since the government was not much bothered to put the property statements to examination, the tainted employees take advantage of filling of the property statement as per their choice.
If sources are to be believed then majority of the civil servants have kept their property in ‘Benami’ name or in their blood relations to avoid test of scrutinizing.
It is to mention here that Governor soon after taking the charge of the state issued several tough directives to ensure transparency in the system.
In one of the directives Vohra had sought names of bureaucrats who have not submitted their annual property returns statement to the government.
The other directives were implementation of ‘Biometric Attendance System’ with immediate effect. All the officers were directed not to leave stations without seeking prior permission from the competent authority. All officers/ employees were also directed not to leave their place of posting either on tour or for personal reasons without written permission from their respective Heads of offices. Any violation thereof will automatically attract disciplinary proceedings.
All the administrative secretaries and heads of departments were also requested to adhere to the above instructions in letter and spirit.