A K Banerjee : CenEx officers moved for discomfort to CC on tour

Bhartiya Dalit Panther, Kanpur, has sought information from the CBEC with respect to a confidential letter of Chief Commissioner, Lucknow Zone, addressed to all Commissionerate under Lucknow Zone.

The CC, in the said letter, had directed all commissioners to post or attach the PROs (attached with Commissioners) in the Preventive branch of the respective commissionerate. The reason for this is apparently that the PROs should not be short of resources in the hospitality of the higher-ups.

Chief Commissioner B R Tripathi, in the letter, felt that the PROs attached with the respective Commissioners are always under pressure as they have to make arrangements for boarding and lodging, gifts, vehicles, air or rail tickets and guesthouse besides receiving senior officers and visitors from CBEC. 

The RTI applicant also drew the attention of the CBEC towards a letter written by the personal secretary of the Chief Commissioner vide no II(3)SRPS/ mis/ CC/ LKO/ 10/09/192dt 16/4/10 addressed to Kanpur Commissioner intimating therein to remove Superintendent S K Mishra and Inspector Rajiv Kannaujiya from the Preventive branch as they had failed to make proper arrangements of boarding/lodging during Tripathi’s official tour.

It was alleged that the arrangements were lousy and negligent when the same have been befitting the rank of the Chief Commissioner. The officers were transferred accordingly.

The applicant further states in his RTI that it is a practice in the entire country that PROs are  from Preventive branch  as they need manpower /Vehicle and other resources  which is available in that branch .

The applicant also said the CC appears to have been misusing the powers which are in violation of CCS conduct rule 1964. The applicant has  also raised a number of queries. A few of them are:

n Is there a rule or transfer policy under which the concerned Superintendent and Inspector can be transferred if they fail to make Boarding and Lodging /Air/ Rail tickets/ guesthouse / gifts arrangement to the senior officers or

guest from CBEC if those arrangements are not liked by those visiting officers.

n Duty list/Responsibilities/Nature of job in respect of the Superintendents/Inspector

n Whether any gift item was presented to the Chief Commissioner during his tour to the respective commissionerate by the commissioners concerned.

n Details of the CCs stay in guest houses during the period 1/5/09 to 31/12/10 along with the addresses of guest/ amount paid and who paid the amount. Is it paid by the govt or by the PRO.

n Who paid the air fare/ rail fare for CCS tour to different Commissionerate during the period 1/5/2006 to 31/12/10. Who paid those amount: govt or PRO.

n Details of tour conducted by CC wef 1/5/09 to 31/12/10 along with name of the CC /name of the commissionerate , reason of tour and period.

n Details of all offices of the Chief Commissioners office under CBEC with address wef 1/5/09 to 31/12/2010alongwith name of the CC/name of the PRO wef 1/5/09 to 31/12/2010 attached with history of posting.

n Name of the officers with designation from CBEC/MOF who toured different Zone/Commissionerate along with reason of tour/ Period of tour wef 1/5/09 to 31/12/10.

At the root of corruption at the CBEC’s subordinate offices is transfers and postings — from the level of sepoys to chief commissioners in the department.

There have been numerous instances when the trade has bought officers of their choice to sensitive postings. It is common knowledge that a number of officers who land plum postings are able to do so owing to their “protocol” abilities — ranging from household activities and funeral activities to their art of appeasement of senior officers at any cost.  Will the CBEC hold an impartial inquiry and punish the CC if found guilty?