After Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanded strict action against all Indian Railways officers who are under the scanner of the CBI and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), Indian Railways has started to terminate the services of officers who have been convicted in corruption cases, said an Indian Express report. The recent action in which four senior officers from zonal railways across the country have been removed from service in past six months also signals government’s strong stance on the issue.
According to the report, a list of 30 officers has been prepared at all levels across India, including Joint Secretary grade. All these officers are believed to have stood convicted by the CBI for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, like taking bribes and possessing assets disproportionate to their known source income. Indian Railways has found itself on top of the list of corruption complaints against government officers over the years and as many as 1,000 complaints in the total pool of 49,847 complaints across the government were filed against Indian Railways, added the report.
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Among the top names, P K Jena, a Deputy Chief Engineer from the Indian Railway Civil Engineering cadre the East Coast Railway was convicted by CBI court in a disproportionate assets case while Dr Ravi Kansal, an Assistant Chief Medical Superintendent based in Lucknow and later Amritsar, was convicted for accepting a bribe of Rs 1,000 from a railwayman. When The Indian Express contacted Bansal about the matter, he responded by saying, “It was a conspiracy and a trap. Beyond that, I have nothing to say.”
“Let the officers fight their cases in appeals. If they are acquitted eventually, the government may consider giving them their jobs back. But until then, they cannot remain in service… the rules are clear,” a top officer on the Railway Board told The Indian Express.