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Sensitive CM Gehlot gave free hand in disposal of genuine cases: R C Jain remembers in his biographical book Yaad Raha Sab Kuchh

By B S Reporter

R C Jain is a retired super time scale IAS officer who had worked closely with minister Ashok Gehlot as deputy during his first tenure (1998-2003). Jain has loads of memories of his interaction with chief minister which he has compiled illustriously in his book. Jain reminisces that when he was posted in CM office he had come across many interesting cases and incidences. He remembers…..

There was a case related to an influential officer. When the said officer (name withheld) was posted as Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM), collector of that district recommended his suspension over irregularities in his conduct and duty. The recommendation was further validated and approved by revenue secretary, revenue minister and minister of personnel before being finally sent to chief minister for information. However, by that time the said officer managed a posting in CM office itself. The recommendation was finally turned down.

The chief minister Ashok Gehlot was transparent and upright. But the same can't be true for other politicians and ministers. After my close encounters with politicians and working in top office, I was convinced that an officer unlike politicians can easily decide 90% of the cases on merit basis. My perception further got reinforced when I came across with cases where senior officers were involved. In one such case, a senior IAS was caught red handed taking a bribe of Rs 12,000. The Anti Corruption Bureau had testified the case and sought from the government. The case was later dismissed under political pressure. I showed my displeasure to the secretary and communicated him to the extent that if such cases were to be disposed in that manner then there was no point in putting the officer on suspension for even a day.

Another such episode involves an RAS officer who was posted in Women and Child Welfare department. The officer purchased salt in bulk to meet requirements of 10 years. The ACB had found irregularity which was backed by documentary evidences. The request for prosecution sanction was once again turned down under political pressure. The officer belonged to scheduled caste and he brought together MLAs of his own caste to put pressure against giving any such sanction.

During my stint at CMO, I happened to feel the sensitivity of CM on several occasions. There was a ban on transfers that time and any request for transfer if necessary would have to come from department to chief minister through general administration department (GAD). The GAD was sending transfer cases in large number to shrug off its accountability. I was handling GAD in CMO. The chief minister had no interest in disposing these transfer requests and to my dismay files were piling up. One day I apprised the CM of the facts and told him that out of the three facets of his governance – , sensitivity and accountability – there was a guaranteed transparency in governance. Though I was not sure about the other two. Every day transfer aspirants would queue up in the CMO hoping disposal of their cases. I requested CM to look into the matter to thin up the crowd which used to gather in the CMO. The chief minister realised the sensitivity of the matter and instructed me and my colleague Sunil Dhariwal to dispose of the files on merit basis. He told us to return all the transfer requests back to the department except those which were needed to be done on humanitarian ground or required for administrative betterment.

I got immensely impressed with the chief minister who instructed us to keep in mind the human element while executing transfers.

These excerpts are from a Book – Yaad Raha Sab Kuchh – penned by a seasoned administrator and bureaucrat R C Jain. This is a must read for anyone interested in living a discipline and spirited life. The anecdotes in his books are living lessons for anyone aspiring to be a better human being.

The original book is in Hindi. We shall be publishing excerpts from this book in a serial form.

The BuckStopper Reporter
The BuckStopper Reporterhttps://www.thebuckstopper.com
The BuckStopper, run by a group of seasoned journalists, holds the powerful accountable. The buck stops with them, as they cannot shrug off their official responsibilities.
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