HYDERABAD: Back in 2007, Ramachandra Samal dropped a ‘bomb’ on the doorstep of then chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy. In a damning 56-page report as the vigilance commissioner five years ago, he named several IAS and IPS officers for ‘’systematic and unchecked loot’’ and several others for harbouring them. His report threw light on ‘’all round deterioration in governance (during the YSR period). He was called “insane, crazy and of unsound mind.’’
With the decisions of that day becoming the scams of today, the IAS lobby now protests that steel framers are being scapegoated by the political class and that the signatures of innocent officers were obtained by stealth and subterfuge. But Samal, now retired, sticks to his guns: ‘’Eighty per cent of IAS officers serving in the state are corrupt.’’
In an exclusive interview with Express, the former vigilance commissioner, an IAS officer of the 1969 batch, says that the overall character of IAS officers has deteriorated and their moral and ethical standards have collapsed.‘’How many officers have you seen resisting ministers, going on leave (in protest), seeking a transfer from posts where they are asked to do wrong things?,’’ he asks.
Samal smiles when you ask him about the current hue and cry being raised by the IAS lobby over ‘targetting’ by the CBI and the babus’ plea that as per business rules ministers are solely responsible for everything in their departments.
‘’Do the business rules say secretaries have no responsibility if something goes wrong? Secretaries are part of the government and they are the primary advisers to the minister. Secretaries are supposed to record their views on the files if they do not agree with the minister,’’ he says.
The retired officer says that in matters relating to graft, IAS officers have no case for being treated any differently than assistant section officers. As for the “big fish-small fish’’ differentiation being made by the IAS Officers Association, Samal disagrees: ‘’The courts will decide who the big fish are and who the small.”
The former vigilance commissioner says the efforts being made by the IAS fraternity -- lobbying chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy or Union home minister P Chidambaram -- will amount to nothing.
Asked whether he attended the general body meeting of the association, Samal said: ‘’I was called but I did not go as most of my colleagues out there will not agree with my views.’’