HC slams IAS officials for corruption in civic bodies


Madurai, Jul 10: The Madras High Court bench here Wednesday came down heavily on IAS cadre officials in city corporations in Tamil Nadu for not controlling corruption and functioning with the "idea to pass their tenure in a routine manner".
"The court raises a genuine doubt whether justice, social and equality of status and opportunity can happen when there is large-scale corruption," Justice S M Subramaniam said. The judge made the observation while disposing of a petition of the Madurai Corporation Sanitary Inspectors and Sanitary Officers Welfare Association. The plea sought to quash an order of the corporation commissioner allotting more and more work to the association members and to direct him to relieve them from the work of conservancy and solid waste management. Umpteen number of judgments have been delivered by courts highlighting the evil consequences of corruption but they yielded no results and remain in law magazines and records, the judge lamented.
The association was not fighting for the welfare of its members but claiming that specific work only should be allotted to them which was not fair, the judge said. The legislatures also enacted various laws with a fond hope they can control corruption. But these laws are diluted and submerged by the further corrupt activities of the prosecutors, investigation officials and least by the citizen of the country, he said. Stating that citizens were greedy in achieving their goals through short-cut methods, he said it was unworthy to blame the public officials alone, certainly worthy to blame the common man also, as he offers the bribe to such public officials. This apart, large-scale corrupt activities exist also in the public domain, he said.
Further, large-scale encroachment of corporation properties was also prevailing both within the city as well as in suburban areas, the judge said.
It was mandatory for the Madurai Corporation to initiate swift action on all such corrupt activities and evict encroachers from its properties in order to develop the properties for the benefit of the people, he said.
People expect the public officials to perform in a better manner so as to provide better service to the residents. All these officials were not only getting handsome salary but enjoying many facilities and perquisites at the cost of the tax-payers, Justice Subramaniam said. However, the services to be provided to the residents of Madurai city are absolutely unsatisfactory and not up to the mark, he said, adding that urgent action was warranted.
The judge directed the commissioner to strengthen the vigilance cell of the corporation and issue suitable orders for its efficient functioning. Also, he ordered setting up of vigilance booths in front desks of all corporation offices and installation of CCTV cameras to monitor the functioning.

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