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Govt to post IAS officers’ assets on web June 1

DoPT: Those who refuse will lose out on promotions,face action

Written by Maneesh Chhibber | New Delhi |
April 30, 2011 2:25:29 am

The Government has decided to put in the public domain details of assets of all serving IAS officers and other Group ‘A’ Central Service Officers,and their dependents before June 1.

The names of defaulting officers — those who fail to submit their asset details as of January 31,2010 — would be put up the website of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and penal action initiated against them.

A decision to this effect is learnt to have been taken by the DoPT a few days ago.

Sources said the DoPT is planning to post all details on its website so as to allow citizens to access the information submitted by the civil servants to their cadre controlling authority — which is the DoPT in the case of IAS and the Home Ministry for IPS officers — about their assets,income tax returns and assets of their dependents.

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In a circular issued a few days ago,the DoPT,while asking all the Central Government Ministries and Department as well as the state governments to forward immovable property returns of all IAS officers for the year 2010 to the DoPT at the earliest,had threatened that officers who do not submit their property details would be denied Vigilance clearance and would not be considered for promotion and empanelment for senior level posts in the Government of lndia.

The same circular also said that the Government of lndia has decided that the annual property return as on January 31,2010 of members of All lndia Service and other Group ‘A’ Central Service Officers would be placed in the public domain.

As per the circular,the last date for the ministries and state governments to forward the details is May 31.

A Committee of Secretaries (CoS) headed by Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar was also considering the issue and had decided to give a go-ahead to the DoPT to put the asset details in the public domain.

Apart from the Cabinet Secretary,the other members of the CoS are Home Secretary G K Pillai,Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) Secretary Alka Sirohi,Law Secretary D R Meena and Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) Secretary T Chatterjee.

The GoM on corruption headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has also favoured making asset details of bureaucrats and their Income Tax returns available to the public under the Right to Information Act,2005.

Sometime back,the Central Information Commission (CIC) had ruled that asset and property declarations of public servants were not to be denied to an applicant under Sec 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act.

In one of the cases,Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi had also said that that such disclosure could not be construed as an invasion of the privacy of an individual.

Last year,judges of the Supreme Court,bowing to public pressure and following a judgment of the Delhi High Court,had also decided to make their assets public by posting details of their properties owned by them and their spouses and dependent children on the Supreme Court website.

Assets of Members of Parliament (MPs) and ministers are already in the public domain,with all candidates contesting elections to the Parliament and state Assemblies mandatorily declaring their assets through affidavits.

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