J&K government
J&K governmentIANS

As the Anti-Corruption Bureau and other departments are flooded with "fake" complaints against government employees, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has issued an advisory against "unnecessary harassment" of employees. This advisory has been issued to stop "widespread harassment" of government employees caused by false complaints, urging legal action against those responsible.

As per the advisory, legal action will be taken against those found involved in lodging false complaints against government employees. The administration acknowledged that government employees face undue harassment due to baseless complaints.

These complaints lack merit and cause mental agony for public servants, affecting their decision-making and overall administrative efficiency.

Authorities identify chronic offenders

The government has identified 19 chronic offenders, including former government employees, who consistently make "fake and frivolous complaints."

Fake letters
Fake letters

Over 7000 complaints were found fake

According to the authorities, over the past six months, more than 7,000 complaints against government employees in Jammu and Kashmir have been verified as fake.

As per the circular issued by the government, a detailed mechanism has been devised for the redressal of complaints against government employees, which aims to balance good governance with safeguards for its employees against "false, frivolous, and anonymous complaints".

The circular, issued by Commissioner/Secretary of the GAD, Sanjeev Verma, said that despite detailed provisions for lodging, handling, and verifying complaints, instances of undue harassment through false complaints are on the rise.

These baseless complaints, after verification, have often been found to lack merit, causing unwarranted harassment and mental agony for public servants, thereby affecting their decision-making and overall administrative efficiency.

Balancing good governance and safeguards

The circular emphasized a detailed mechanism for the redressal of complaints against government employees. It aims to strike a balance between good governance and protecting employees from "false, frivolous, and anonymous complaints."

Legal action will be taken for lodging fake complaints

Government employees are encouraged to pursue prosecution against individuals making false complaints under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The authorities made it clear that action will be taken against Section 182 of the IPC allows punishment (imprisonment, fine, or both) for knowingly providing false information to a public servant.

Furthermore, higher-ups have been asked to take action against section 195(1)(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure deals with contempt of lawful authority and offenses against public justice.

The circular suggested considering departmental action as an alternative to prosecution. Institutional support will be provided to affected government servants, including assistance in approaching the crime branch and facilitating civil lawsuits for damages.

Authorities ask to bring transparency, and accountability to the system

The circular emphasized transparency through formal press notes on complaints and inquiries, ideally on a monthly basis.

It also advised conducting inquiries into cases involving publications and taking action if complicity is found, such as reporting to the Press Council of India (PCI), cancelling accreditation, and stopping government advertisements for the publication.

These measures aim to protect honest employees from unwarranted harassment and ensure that government business and public service delivery remain unaffected by baseless complaints.