New Delhi: After shocking pictures of wealth being recovered from IAS officers Tinu and Arvind Joshi's home, the department of personnel and training had asked all bureaucrats to declare their immovable property returns, but it has now come to light that more than half of Uttar Pradesh bureaucrats haven't declared their assets.
Currency notes worth over Rs 3 crore were recovered from Tinu and Arvind Joshi's home. Their net worth was over Rs 200 crore. Before the Joshis, there was Babu Lal Agarwal, another babu who had 400 benami accounts.
Under pressure to show greater accountability within the bureaucracy the Department of Personnel and Training issued a stern circular saying that all Group 'A' Central Service Officers must declare their immovable property returns for 2010 before June 1. It had also said that officers who do not submit their property details would be denied Vigilance clearance.
But not all state bureaucrats have declared their wealth and the worst state is Uttar Pradesh, where not even half of 537 babus have declared their assets. It is also the state which has seen maximum number of cases filed against the bureaucrats.
Other states like Punjab, Maharashtra and Karnataka have a better record though, with over 80 per cent officers disclosing their assets.
At the centre, almost all top bureaucrats have revealed details.
Cabinet Secretary KM Chadrashekhar has property in Thiruvananthapuram, which he bought at Rs 2.9 lakh of loan acquired from the Government, HDFC Bank and personal income.
Home Secretary GK Pillai has inherited a land in Thiruvananthapuram whose present value is Rs 75 lakh.
His wife Sudha Pillai, presently Member Secretary of Planning Commission has a Eldeco Flat in Noida jointly named with daughter and son-in-law, which is valued at Rs 90 lakh and a UP township flat in Greater Noida, whose value is Rs 55 lakh.
O Ravi, joint secretary in the Home Ministry, who was arrested on corruption charges has quite a long list of property which includes a 300-meter plot in Greater Noida worth Rs 60 lakh, a flat in Hauz Khas and a shop in Ansal Plaza in Greater Noida.
Former IAS officer TSR Subramaniyam says that the key is to get the details of benami properties which could have been in the name of siblings. "They should be asked to declare all that," he says.
The question, however, remains whether the declaration will be a deterrent for those who have chosen to defame the steel frame of India.