Lahore  - Director, Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE), Lahore region, has directed inquiry officers and investigation officers to expedite the campaign already launched against proclaimed offenders and court absconders and arrest them without delay, said the ACE spokesman.

He asserted that letters in this regard were also being sent to the heads of departments to remove corrupt officers from their positions. The spokesman disclosed some proposals were submitted to the chief minister to streamline the policy to avoid posting of the government servants involved in corruption cases. It was proposed that the Anti-Corruption Establishment DG would provide the respective authorities with details about the FIRs lodged against such government servants.

“Based upon this information, all competent authorities will remove those officers/officials from important assignments against whom judicial action has been approved by the competent authority. Sources said the ACE had sent a report regarding 1,000 officials, involved in corruption cases, to the Punjab chief minister. The ACE revealed in its report that 180 CSP and 370 PCS officials were involved in corruption.

According to the sources, the names of 550 officials of police, district governments, LDA, education, auqaf, irrigation, health, excise and revenue officials were included in the list.

The Anti-Corruption director general, in a report, has proposed removal of the corrupt personnel from the government departments.

The Punjab government has decided to remove from key assignments all those officials against whom challans have been submitted to anti-corruption courts.

“Each department/office will identify important assignments against which posting of such officers/officials is not advisable/appropriate. In future, no officer/official against whom judicial action has been approved by the competent authority or challan has been submitted in a court will be posted against any of the important assignments.

“The competent authorities may also examine the nature of the offences of each involved government servant and take action against them under the Punjab Employees Efficiency, Discipline and Accountability Act 2006 wherever required,” read a notification.

There was another proposal that in case the government servants had been declared proclaimed offenders by the anti-corruption courts, they should be placed under suspension immediately and disciplinary proceedings initiated against them. “Meanwhile, the Anti-Corruption Establishment and the Punjab Information Technology Board will develop software to facilitate the ACE and the authorities concerned for updating the list of the government servants involved in anti-corruption cases from time to time,” the notification added.

Amazingly, the ACE DG was not concerned about the reputation and track record of the officers working under his own control. The DG appointed a controversial DMG officer, Moazzam Iqbal Sipra, as Lahore ACE director, was facing three inquiries of corruption and misuse of authority. The director general not only posted him as the director but also patronised him by victimising the officer who was assigned inquiries against Sipra.

It may be mentioned here that a well-reputed officer, Maqbool, who was holding an inquiry against the Lahore ACE director, was placed under suspension by DG Javed when he refused to obey Sipra’s illegal orders. Then Sipra threatened an upright officer, Deputy Director Technical Sheikh Irfan as he feared Irfan was working against his interests and the inquiries’ findings would go against him. Sipra threatened him of dire consequences and used filthy language against him. Sheikh Irfan lodged a complaint against him with the DG, but he (the DG) remained unmoved and, instead of taking action against Sipra, he suspended the complainant over the reasons best known to him.