Monday, April 11, 2011

DoPT races ahead of Hazare: Officers’ properties will now be on public domain

IT seems to be a mere coincidence, but Indian government's circular stating that immovable property returns of IAS and other Group A officers would be placed in public domain, came a day before Anna Hazare began a "fast unto death" for a stringent anti-corruption law. On April 5, 2011, Hazare began his fast to exert pressure on the government to enact a Jan Lokpal Bill, a law that will establish an ombudsman with powers to deal with corruption in public offices.

Incidentally, DoPT's circular came on April 4, 2011 asking IAS officers to submit the immovable property returns as on January 1, 2011 with a clear tag saying that annual property returns of IAS and other Central government officers would be placed in public domain.

Though all officers need to file these returns, many of those don't care much. Also, till now, these returns were kept confidentially. Now, according to the DoPT circular, officers failing to file such returns would be denied vigilance clearance leading to the stalling of their promotion and empanelment.

That's not all. If an officer fails to submit the return by the stipulated date of April 20, 2011, his or her name will be made public under the list of defaulting officers, the circular added.

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