NFIW letter dated 21/10/09 addressed to the Chief Secretary to GOK to restore systems to curb corruption

Dear Sir
We are enclosing a copy of press note released on 1/10/09.We are also giving some of the reports which appeared in newspapers. The NFIW is fighting to get justice to women. We have found that corruption plays a major role in most of the cases. The officials at the lower level openly demand money stating that money is demanded by their higher ups.Those at the middle level also make it clear that as long as their higher ups demand money from them they also have no choice. But the complaints given against the higher ups (mostly IAS officers) have no affect and this is amply demonstrated in the frequent statements made by the Hon’ble Lokayukta through the media. Members of the NFIW have alone given complaint against many senior IAS officers. Those who filed complaint against corrupt IAS officers with the statutory authorities and in Criminal Courts have been threatened. Keeping these in mind the press note was released. After hearing that you would be accessible to the people and that you would give importance to transparency we released the press note on 1/10/09. We were even told that the Chief Secretary has not fixed specific time for visitors and public could meet him anytime. Unfortunately our many requests seeking appointment to meet you made to your office since 1/10/09 have not helped us.

1. From our experience corrupt officers who occupy very important positions have always come in the way of giving corruption free services to the poor and that too to poor women (Even today the Women Commission is not constituted and is chaired by an officer (man) about whom no woman has confidence- luckily the staff refer women under distress to organizations like ours, which speaks about how corrupt IAS officers every day continue to harass even poor women). Our very first demand is for reviving the High Level Committee on Anti-Corruption which was got abolished by very senior corrupt IAS officers during the President’s Rule. If that Committee is revived then the NFIW is hopeful of using the non-governmental members to force the Government to check the corrupt practices in the Women Commission.(834 files have been made to disappear. A few files were against IAS officers) We have also filed a complaint with the Vice Presidency of the World Bank against the stealthy abolition of High Level Committee by senior corrupt IAS officers some of whom even today occupy important posts.

2. As earlier stated, most of the officials at the junior and middle level have been forced to be corrupt by the IAS officers. There are very large number of examples of how IAS officers have harassed officials below them who tried to raise their voice against corruption. Today the corrupt IAS officers one the one hand have got the High Level Committee on Anti-Corruption abolished and and on the other have have blocked the only committee that could have protected honest officials to see to it that they can carry on their corrupt practices without any fear . In future if any junior level officer demands money saying that their higher ups are demanding money from them then the NFIW would represent such officials before the Committee.(Many Women officials are afraid to even open their mouth about the brazen corruption in their offices) NFIW demands that the Committee suggested by the Cabinet Secretary in 2004 be immediately constituted.

3. When you informed the public through the media that you would give top priority for transparency in administration, we were very happy. Unlike other Chief Secretaries who were afraid to declare their assets, we thought you would declare your assets to the public voluntarily and set an example for others. All our efforts to get information about assets of IAS officers using the RTI Act have been blocked by corrupt officers in the DPAR itself. We remind you that one of the sensational disproportionate asset case going on today in the country got credibility because Women Organizations (including NFIW, Chennai) raised their voice against the corrupt practices of a powerful authority. NFIW, Karnataka also exposed the Police-Criminal Nexus in Belgaum. As you have not voluntarily disclosed your assets in spite of our request through media, and keeping your very long tenure in view, we have filed an RTI application asking for information about your assets and liabilities. We believe that any officer who is afraid to disclose information about his assets would never be able to bring in true transparency in Administration. It is unfortunate that your first act which was made public was not following transparency in procurement of materials for flood relief. The effect of it is already reported in media as bribes are demanded by flood victims even to get their meager cheque encashed. Such a thing is bound to continue as long as corrupt IAS officers are placed in important positions and no action is taken against them even where Lokayukta has demanded action. Lokayukta should be given the needed power to tackle corruption at higher level immediately and you are obligated to convince the concerned.

We request you to take immediate action on all the above three issues. If not, we would be protesting in front of the Residence of a Very senior corrupt IAS officer against whom statutory authorities have initiated action on a day and time convenient to us during the Vigilance Week.

We hope by acting on all the above three demands you would not be forcing us to act as indicated above which perhaps will be the first of its kind in the country.

Yours Sincerely,

K.K.Sumitra Jayashree.J.N
General Secretary Honorary President

Sri S.V.Ranganath,IAS,
Chief Secretary,
Vidhana Soudha Bangaore

Copy to :
Sri H.R. Bharadwaj,H.E. the Governor of Karnataka, Raj Bhavan, Bangalore
Hon’ble Justice Sri Santosh Hegde, Lokayukta, MS Building, Bangalore

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