Internal irregularity cases against civic staffers pending for years

The Municipal Corporations of Delhi have been sitting on files pending enquiry in cases of irregularities initiated against its staffers by respective vigilance departments for years, sources have revealed.

Since its inception in 2012, at least 95 cases have been filed with the Vigilance Department of the SDMC, of which only three have been worked out so far. According to sources, the north and east corporations together have over 150 cases pending since the trifurcation of the civic body.

“Of the 95 cases pending enquiry, 92 are pending with the Director and Deputy Director (enquiry),” according to a response to a query sent to the Vigilance Department by the SDMC Leader of Opposition Farhad Suri.

The reply further stated: “While 47 of these cases are pending ‘prosecution evidence’, in 20 others ‘further orders’ to investigation are awaited, and 8 do not have sufficient evidence from the ‘defence side’.”

Officials at the three corporations admitted that the pendency affected the pace of work and administrative functioning but claimed that they did not have the sanctioned strength of enquiry officers (EOs) to work on the piled-up cases.

Most of these are internal cross-enquiries initiated by officials of the same department against their superiors or colleagues. As many as 90 per cent of these cases have been initiated against different ranks of engineers, including superintendent engineers (SE), executive engineers (EE), assistant engineers (AE) and junior engineers (JE), among others.

The south corporation officials claimed that the body has only two enquiry officers against the sanctioned strength of six.

“We do not have enough Enquiry and Deputy Enquiry Officers to carry out the investigations. To tackle the situation, we have invited applications from retired Group-A and Group-B officials to be appointed to these positions. We hope to clear out the remaining cases soon,” said south corporation Commissioner Puneet K Goel.

Earlier this month, east corporation Commissioner Mohanjeet Singh had announced that the civic body will appoint retired IAS, IRS and IPS officers, since the pendency was affecting the employees’ performance and overall administration.

“Many officials have retired but inquiries against them remain pending for years. In such cases, except for their pension, all other benefits are put on hold. While for those still in service, promotions and service benefits are kept on hold for years,” said a senior north corporation official.

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