Srinagar, Oct 3: The government on Monday called for ‘discouraging’ the ‘culture of anonymous or pseudonymous’ complaints even as it issued a slew of instructions for lodging and disposal of the complaints against a public servant.
“In order to eradicate corruption for providing robust service delivery mechanism and increase participation of citizens in governance at various levels, citizens can draw attention of appropriate authority by making formal complaints regarding any action/inaction on part of public servant in writing or through other specified means for which complaint redressal mechanism has already been put in place in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” reads a government circular.
It subsequently issued instructions for proper lodging and disposal of the complaints against the public servants.
Among others, it said, complaints can be lodged with appropriate authority by addressing a written communication either directly or through electronic mode or on portal available for this purpose. “Appropriate authority, after gathering information about corruption, malpractices and misconduct may take appropriate action under law against such public servants in a time bound manner.”
It however reiterated that anonymous or pseudonymous complaints or complaints containing vague, frivolous, non-specific allegations should not be taken cognizance of. Further, it said, complaints about sub-judice matters should also not be entertained.
It reiterated guidelines regarding disposal of anonymous and pseudonymous complaints in the Departments and autonomous bodies etc.
General Administration Department, it said, vide Circular (No. 29-GAD(Vig) of 2014 dated 31 July 2014), reiterated vide Circular (No. 22- GAD(Vig) of 2015) dated 10 July 2015) guidelines notified in consonance with those issued by the Department of Personnel & Training, Ministry of Personnel & Public Grievances & Pensions, Government of India on 18 October 2013 and Central Vigilance Commission’s circulars on 25th November 2014 and 7th March 2016.
“As a standard procedure in these matters, the first step is to verify whether the complaints are filed by citizens who have provided their particulars viz. name, address and contact number,” the government circular with Global News Service Reads, adding, “In case, the complaint is anonymous/ pseudonymous, the same is to be filed without any further action.”
The culture of anonymous and pseudonymous complaints is to be discouraged, it said.
The complaints which have been filed by persons who have provided their identity should be processed in accordance with law, the Circular reads further. “Where the complaints are genuine, due action be taken against the officers/officials under extant rules and guidelines issued by CVC as well as GAD.”
The government also clarified that there are specific provisions in law to deal with fake, frivolous and motivated complaints.
“Importantly, in cases where it is established that the complaints were lodged with a malafide intention or an ulterior motive to harass or harm an innocent Government servant, necessary action should be taken against such Complainants as per law.”
It said under section 182 of Indian Penal Code, a person making a false complaint can be prosecuted.
“Under section 195(l)(a) of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 a person making a false complaint can be prosecuted on the basis of a complaint lodged with the court of competent jurisdiction by the public servant to whom the false complaint was made or by some other public servant to whom he is subordinate.”
Also, it said, if a person making a false complaint is a public servant, departmental action may also be considered against them as an alternative to prosecution.
The government said that these instructions have been brought to notice of all administrative departments and autonomous bodies etc., public servants and general public for strict adherence.