24 Nov, 2022 11:52a.m.

Railways removes 38 corrupt officials & forced 139 for VRS in 16 months


The Railways stated to have terminated one "non-performer or corrupt official" every three days over the past 16 months.

According to the report, 139 officers were "forced to take voluntary retirement," while 38 were removed from duty.

Two senior-level officers were dismissed on November 23, according to sources quoted by the PTI.

The Central Bureau of Investigation caught one of them with a bribe of Rs 5 lakh in Hyderabad, while the other was caught with Rs 3 lakh in Ranchi.

"The (Railways) minister's (Ashwini Vaishnaw) message of 'perform or perish' is crystal clear. Since July 2021, we have eliminated one corrupt official from the Railways every three days, according to an official.

It was reported exclusively last month that the Ministry of Railways granted vigilance clearance to Amitabh Banerjee, chairman and managing director of one of its key public sector units, Indian Railways Finance Corporation (IRFC), for a full term in 2020. It did so despite the fact that the Central Bureau of Investigation had already named him in a FIR regarding a multibillion-dollar case of financial mismanagement at another PSU where he had previously worked.

The ministry relieved Banerjee of her responsibilities "with immediate effect" days after receiving questions from The Wire.

The Railways invoked Rule 56(J) of the Department of Personnel and Training's service rules, which states that a central government employee may be forced to retire or be terminated after receiving at least three months' notice or pay for a comparable period.

Officials from the electrical, signalling, medical, and civil services, as well as personnel from the stores, traffic, and mechanical departments, are among those forced to retire voluntarily or be let go.

Under the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), an employee receives two months' pay for each remaining year of service. However, comparable benefits are not available upon mandatory retirement.

Under the provisions relating to premature retirement in the Fundamental Rules and the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972, the appropriate authority has the absolute right to retire a government servant under FR 56(j), FR 56(l), or Rule 48 (1)(b) of the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972, as applicable, if it is in the public interest to do so.

Among the 139, however, are a number of officials who submitted their paperwork and opted for VRS after being denied promotion or sent on leave. According to officials who spoke with PTI, there are also instances in which individuals are compelled to choose retirement.

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