The Uttar Pradesh government is all set to close departmental inquiries against 150 police officers,including 25 from IPS,which were initiated in connection with alleged irregularities in the recruitment of 22,500 constables during the Mulayam Singh Yadav regime in 2005-06.
This could be the first step in bringing the curtain down on a controversial chapter that began when the Mayawati government,in 2007,cancelled the recruitment after an inquiry by Shailja Kant Mishra,an IPS officer of additional DG rank.
The Allahabad High Court later quashed the decision and passed strictures on the inquiry officer as also the government. The Supreme Court refused to stay the judgment on the states appeal.
A top government official said that Chief Minister Mayawati had recently discussed the matter with senior officials and directed them to close the matter. Asked about the status of the inquiries,DGP Karamvir Singh said,Most of the departmental inquiries have concluded. The government now has to take a decision.
The government ordered the inquiry following complaints from some ruling party MLAs,alleging corruption in the recruitment. In his report,Mishra found several irregularities,following which the government cancelled the recruitment.
While striking down the government decision,the Allahabad High Court held that the inquiry officer had acted arbitrarily and failed to find evidence of corruption. Also,the government had not applied its mind while taking action on the inquiry report. As a result,the recruits had been punished on insufficient evidence,but no action had been taken to punish the corrupt officials.
The government had suspended 25 IPS officers,who headed 42 of the recruitment boards,and 125 Additional SP and Deputy SP rank officials who were members of the boards. Most of them were later reinstated. The high court found that their suspension had been revoked in a mechanical fashion.
While the Centre had refused permission for prosecution of the officials under Prevention of Corruption Act,the state had lodged criminal cases against the officers most of which are still pending. The state government also ordered departmental inquiries against the officers. Over the years,many officers have since retired.