How babus un­der­mine pan­els

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.