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Appointment Irregularities Demeans RD&PR

IMPHAL, May 12: Irregularities in the appointment process in Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Department of the State Government is said to be so rampant that appointments of many employees were found to have been terminated just 3/4 days after issuance of their appointment orders but allowed to continue in service without initiating any action.

Disclosing this to The Sangai Express, a highly placed source said that on the basis of the report of Government Advocate alleging irregularities in the appointment in various categories of posts in Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, the High Powered Committee headed by Chief Secretary as the chairman discussed the matter seriously and entrusted the State Vigilance Commission to conduct necessary inquiries.

The inquiry of the Vigilance Commission has revealed numerous irregularities in the appointment process made during the time of Y Neta as the Director of the Department with regard to the posts of Section Officers, Road Muhorrirs (RMs), Progress Assistants (PAs), Village Level Workers (VLWs), Lower Division Clerks (LDCs), Grade-IV (peon/chowkidar) and drivers.

All these appointments have been made without the approval of the Government and in far excess of the sanctioned posts or available vacancy or even against no post. Moreover, the services of many employees were also found to have been terminated within 2/3/4 days of issuing their appointment orders but allowed to continue in service for 6/7 more years without initiating any action.

A DPC for appointment of 21 Section Officers (Grade-I/Civil) had been conducted on October 18, 1999 with the then Deputy Director Y Neta as the chairman and Deputy Director (Panchayat) G Budhachandra Sharma and Under Secretary (Fisheries) K Lalengi as members. But during the course of the inquiry, it has been found out that these 21 SOs were supposed to be appointed directly.

Yet in the DPC, one Khagokpam Shashikumar Singh was recommended for appointment against the existing vacancy of one post in the Department apart from recommending 20 others for appointment as SOs. The proceedings of the said DPC have also been approved by Under Secretary (Rural Development and Panchayati Raj) N Ibobi Singh.

For the appointment of SO Grade-II/Civil on promotion from Road Muhorrir, Director Y Neta had also chaired yet another DPC with Deputy Director (Panchayat) Budhachandra Sharma and Under Secretary (Veterinary & Animal Husbandry) S Thoiba Singh as members on October 30, 1999 and recommended four Road Muhorrirs for promotion as Section Officer against the existing deputation vacancies.

In the same DPC, three candidates have also been recommended for appointment as Road Muhorrirs on purely temporary capacity against the resultant vacancies as interim arrangement and five others were kept as panel for appointment in the anticipated vacancies. Under Secretary (RD &PR) N Ibobi Singh had conveyed the approval of the Government to the proceedings of the DPC.

However, the service of three candidates who have been recommended for appointment as Road Muhorrirs on purely temporary capacity against the resultant vacancies as interim arrangements were subsequently terminated by an order of the Director on April 1, 2006.

Moreover, another DPC chaired by Director Y Neta with Deputy Director (Panchayat) G Bhudhachandra Sharma and Under Secretary (GAD) Y Nilbir Singh as members on November 1, 1999 recommended 22 candidates for appointment as Progress Assistants against the deputation vacancies on temporary capacity as a stop gap arrangement and Director Neta himself issued the appointment/posting orders of the recommended candidates.

The recommended candidates who were in serial numbers 1 to 6 were subsequently found to have been given appointment against regular vacancies and included in MGEL while the appointment of the remaining recommended candidates were cancelled and not included in MGEL.

During the course of the inquiry, the Vigilance Commission came across that there were three different proceedings of the same DPC. In one of the proceedings, names of 22 persons have been recommended for appointment as Progress Assistants while 23 and 24 respectively were listed in the other two proceedings.

On October 31, 1999, another DPC was also conducted for appointment of LDCs with Director Y Neta as chairman and Budhachandra Sharma and Y Nilbir as members and recommended names of 23 candidates for appointment as LDCs against the deputation vacancies on temporary basis in view of the exigencies of the service in the Department while another 8 candidates were recommended to be kept in the panel for appointment as LDCs against the anticipated deputation/resultant vacancies.

However, out of the 23 candidates recommended for appointment as LDCs against the deputation vacancies, 15 of them were found to have been adjusted against regular vacancies and the remaining candidates filed a case in the court.

Irregularities in the appointments of VLWs, Grade-IV employees and Drivers in Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Department have also been detected in the inquiry of the Commission, the source said, adding that no files/orders/documents relating to these appointments could be found in the Department or its Directorate. Most of the documents that the Commission could lay its hands on during the course of the inquiry are also said to be photocopies and could not be compared with those in the Secretariat.

Based on its findings, the Commission has recommended to the Government for taking up necessary action against Y Neta, who is now retired from service, under the provisions of Rule 9 of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 as well as against those officials responsible for non-traceability/loss of files/records.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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