LAHORE - More than 800 under-process inquiries and registered cases with the anti-corruption are lying pending despite the given deadline of November 3, 2009, to finalise the said pendency, sources in the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) disclosed on Friday. They said Director General (DG) Anti-Corruption Establishment Punjab (ACE) Kazim Ali Malik had transferred more than 800 on process inquiries and registered cases from headquarters to regions with the directions that DG office was a supervisory and monitoring office and said work should be done by the regional offices. He had also warned the directors concerned to finalise the pending backlog till November, 3 2009, with the strict warnings that the officers who failed to achieve target would be proceeded according to law. The DG restrained to entertain the transfer of investigation of under-interrogation cases from one official to other. At the time when the new DG took charge of his office, about 70 per cent of inquires and cases registered were pending with eight regional directors and directorate (headquarter) owing to the traditional lazy attitude of the ACE officials and interference from the hidden hands, a senior officer of the ACE said on the condition of not to be named. The ACE had to complete about 20,000 inquiries during 2009 including more than 15,000 initiated during the same year in addition to the backlog of 4,403 inquiries. The ACE had to complete investigation of 3,700 corruption cases registered during 2009. Out of total, 1,000 were registered during 2008 and 2,721 during 2009 against the corrupt officials and government contractors. According to data complied by ACE, out of 20,000 inquires 3,600 are still pending with regions for finalisation and registration of cases. Out of 3,714 registered cases, 1,245 cases are pending with regional directors and ACE courts for prosecution. Out of 3,600 pending inquiries, the highest number of 910 was against the police officials, local government stands on second with 629 and revenue department on third with 604 pending inquiries. Out of the total pending cases, 297 were pending against the officials of revenue department, police stands on second position with 254 and local government at third position with 199 cases. According to ACE rules, it is mandatory for the investigating officer to complete investigation of the registered case within five weeks for submission of Challans in the courts for trial. According to section 12 of Anti-Corruption Rules and Guidelines 1985, it is mandatory for the competent authority to decide the fate of inquiries carried out by the subordinate offices for prosecution in one week after submission. The DG who was fully committed to dispose off all cases and inquires within time limit now seems to be helpless to take action against the delinquent officials who violated directions. Pendency of cases with ACE would hurt prosecution rate, lessen feelings of reprimand among the corrupt elements and lower the recovery of looted public money from the corrupt and unscrupulous officials. As per pendency of inquiries it seems the department has become toothless to recommend action against the influential and powerful delinquent and corrupt persons, said an official seeking anonymity. A good number of officers are working in ACE including 275 officers ranging from BS-16 to 21 including Director General (BS-21), one additional director general (BS-20), 11 directors (BS-19), 63 deputy directors (BS-18), seven administrative officers (BS-17), 129 assistant directors (BS-17), eight divisional accountants, 44 inspectors and 10 superintendents of BS-16 working in ACE to deal with corruption, embezzlement of funds and loss of public exchequer with iron hands. Kazim Ali Malik, a retired PCO judge who was appointed DG ACE on contract in relaxation of the Re-employment Policy, 2003 and Contract Appointment Policy, 2004 in October 2009, took a number of steps to make establishment a strong deterrence to corruption and corrupt officials in the province. He was given the task to improve the performance of ACE with the policy to deal with corrupt elements with iron hands. When this scribe contacted Kazim Ali Malik to know his stance over the issue, his cell phone remained unattended despite repeated attempts.