The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rogues gallery off vigilance website

New Delhi, July 20: The Central Vigilance Commission has dropped the rogues gallery, a list containing names of corrupt officers, from its website.

Instead, the commission will post monthly circulars giving names of officers who have been punished or against whom it has recommended prosecution.

Sources said central vigilance commissioner P. Shanker is of the opinion that corruption cannot be fought through websites. The commissioner said giving names of the officers only on the basis of pending inquiries harasses and defames them.

Corruption, according to Shanker, can be checked only if action is quickly taken against officers found indulging in such practices.

The sources also said they have found that most of the complaints are frivolous and aimed at maligning an officer. Only 30 per cent of the complaints can be substantiated, they added.

The rogues gallery, which came into existence in January 2000, was the brainchild of former commissioner . Vittal. Corruption, Vittal had said, was flourishing in the country due to two reasons lack of transparency and delay in taking action against guilty officers.

The move would act as a deterrent as corrupt officers would feel ashamed finding their names pasted on the website, which could be accessed by anybody, Vittal had said.

Initially, the list contained about 95 names 74 from the Indian Administrative Services and 21 from the Indian Police Services. Within a year, the number of names on the list swelled to 1.5 lakh, incorporating officers from other departments.

The move created a furore in the bureaucracy. Critics said many would conclude that a person was corrupt if his name appeared on the website, while the inquiry might exonerate him.

In its recent report, the Indian Civil and Administrative Service Association (Central), however, appreciated the move and said these small beginnings would help restore the image of central services in the eyes of public.

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