How babus undermine panels
Bapat filed a criminal defamation suit against Malik in a Pune court claiming the charges had tarnished his image. Between December 2015 and August 2018, each time the case was listed for hearing, Bapat rarely attended proceedings. Instead, on most occasions he sought adjournment on the ground that his presence was required in Mantralaya.
Malik deposed before the Pune court and reiterated all charges against Bapat. As it became evident that Bapat would not personally appear before the court, Malik moved an application for discharge.
A week ago, Bapat’s counsel submitted an application before the court seeking withdrawal of the suit.
Bapat’s case indicates Maharashtra is witnessing a new trend. When members of the ruling party face corruption char- Abrief order issued by chief secretary Dinesh Kumar Jain clearly establishes that bureaucrats do not recognize the authority of statutory committees of the state legislature. Last year, Jain’s predecessor, Swadheen Kshatriya, had promulgated a one-page order on the importance of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the state legislature. It was then pointed out that it is mandatory for bureaucrats to attend proceedings before the PAC.
However, bureaucrats remain indifferent to the PAC.
They are given adequate time as they are intimated 15 days prior to meetings. If they cannot make it to a meeting, they are supposed to take the permission of the chief secretary.
Jain found bureaucrats remain absent without the permission of the CS. What’s more, they inform the PAC chairman directly if they are unable to attend a meeting. It’s a serious matter, particularly when PAC members from across the state reach Mumbai to attend the meeting only to be told on reaching here that the meeting has been cancelled owing to the absence of bureaucrats.
Says a BJP cabinet member, by and large bureaucrats do not take the proceedings before PAC, Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal as well as State Human Rights Commission seriously. They swing into action only when a breach of privilege or contempt notice is served on them.