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‘Suspend Corrupt Officials, Reform TA&Hills/TRI, for better Manipur’

Open letter to Hon’ble Minister of Tribal Affairs and Hills, Govt. of Manipur and Chief Minister, Manipur:

 

Honourable Sirs,

I am deeply disappointed to write to you through this esteemed daily as the Govt. has failed to addressed my grievances despite complaints and reminders after reminder. Both of you are unanimously credited for being personally honest and perceived to be strong leaders but what strong leaders would remain personally honest but allow dishonesty and corruption under their nose? For this reason, with all the respect and trust I have for you and your Govt., I am unable to rejoice much, for your Govt., were napping as the thieves were looting and emptying the coffers.
I am writing to you today to share my experience and disappointment on how the Govt., departments under your leadership is functioning. As a citizen, I have every right to endorse my grievances through the Govt., Department. But what if the Govt.,officials who are supposed to be the guardians become a beast in themselves? Such is the story of this one man versus the whole set of corrupt officials in the Department of Tribal Affairs & Hills. I was also one of the candidates who appeared for the DPC for the contractual post of Research Officer in TRI. But unfortunately, one Mr. John Gaidingam Dangmei who was one of the least qualified candidates was selected for the post. He was just a second class MA without M.Phil or Ph.D. As if that was not enough, he was found regularised but into different and higher post of Administrative officer cum Research Officer in TRI by increasing his Grade Pay three folds i.e from Rs. 4400/- to Rs.5400 which is not at all in tune with the service fundamental rules.
An RTI follows and soon the Pandora box was opened and the ugly creatures were none other than the bureaucrats and officers of the TA&Hills/TRI. I am still unable to believe that an officer/s (IAS) can stoop so low surrendering his integrity and professional ethics just for his personal gain. This is a very dangerous sign as such officer could do much harm to the Govt. as well as the public and it happen in my case.
I was denied my RTI information for more than two months after which I filed a complaint to the Manipur State Information Commission under Case No. 29 of 2018. After the Department received the summoned letter from the Commission I received my RTI replied dated 23rd June, 2018 signed by the Director, TA&Hills/TRI, Shri Joseph Pauline Kamson but the documents were not certified as requested. A very shocking things was discovered in his RTI replied and the enclosed documents. Shri Joseph Pauline, an IAS officer enclosed a copy a Govt. Gazette No. 485 but it was found that the fifth middle line of the Gazette was found to be completed missing/ erased. I signed on all the pages of the documents and returned it to the Commission to get it signed from the Director as I sought a certified copy. I submitted a written application to the Commission that I want back the copies which I had signed to be returned back to me after certifying it. The Director was caught red handed and he refused to give back the copies with my signature. He replaced all the documents. The Commission after hearing the case gave directives to the Director to clarify as to why Gazette No.485 was manipulated by erasing one complete middle line. Finding no option the Director wrote a letter to me that it was a human error. But it was done with malafide intention.
In the same RTI replies to query No.6, 9 & 11 he repeatedly claimed that the post of Research Officer was re-designated as Administrative Officer cum Research Officer from contractual Research Officer Post. But till today he could not provide the re-designation orders from RO to AO cum RO.
What can be more shameful to IAS officer who does not know the difference between the letter A & B. Again he claimed that the Administrative Officer cum Research Officer belongs to Group-B with Pay Band of Rs. 9300-34800+G.P. GP.Rs.5400/- whereas an RTI replied from the Finance Department(PIC) reveals that AO cum RO of TRI belongs to Group-A. How can an IAS officer stoop so low? He was replying intentionally in order to conceal that fact that Mr. John Gaidingam who was engaged as RO with monthly remuneration of Rs.13,700/- i.e Rs.9300+GP Rs.4400/- when regularised as AO cum RO increase his grade pay three folds i.e Rs.9300-34800+GP Rs.5400. Now the question is - Is the said Director fit for his post and title? Why did he provide wrongful information? Why was he dancing at the tune of a mere officer by surrendering his dignity as a public officer?
As the saying goes - one rotten apple spoil the whole barrel, it happens in the case of the officials of TA&H/TRI. One case leads to another and in their attempt to hide something they commit more crime. In another RTI replied, the Joint Secretary, TA&H, Shri George K. Maram arrogantly replied that the re-designation order may be obtain from the Department of Printing and Press. Again he said that he is enclosing Govt. order of re-designation from RO to AO cum RO in Annex-G but the enclosed annexure was found to be the copy of regularization of Mr. John and not re-designate copy as claimed. In this regards, RTI Case No. 46 is registered with the information Commission. Shri George K.Maram is also one of the masterminds in concealing information thereby delaying justice. He was also the Chairman of the DPC for the non sactioned post of RO in TRI with M. Z. Solomon, the then Joint Director as Member Secretary who already retired in 2012.
However, they started playing more dangerously and aggressively. In every hearing of the case Joint Secretary Shri. George Maram and Shri Gaikhonlung Gangmei, Legal officer, TA&H cannot provide the re-designated copy of RO to AO cum RO as claimed by them. Soon Jt. Secretary George and Legal Officer Gaikhonlung Gangmei started cheating by stating in two letters dated 12th July, 2018 & 20th July, 2018 that the information sought by me could not be furnished as one Mr. H. Ezra complaint to the Chief Vigilance Commissioner regarding the contractual engagement of RO and subsequently regularization as AO cum RO and they have submitted a report and files pertaining to Mr. John was submitted to the Vigilance Commissioner. In every hearing since July they have been claiming the same thing. The Commission also directed the Dept. to recall the files and furnished the wanting documents to me. But the Dept. never complies and I was harassed to such a great extent.
In this matter, RTI Case No. 47 is filed wherein the Commission summoned the SPIO/Jt. Secretary, Vigilance and Anti-corruption Department Moreover, the Commission summoned the SPIO/ Joint Secretary, Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Department. Shri L. Bikram and gave directive to furnish more elaborate and appropriate reply based on records within one week - whether the report that one Mr. H. Ezra lodge a complaint to the Vigilance and Anti Corruption Department, due to which the files of Mr. John had been submitted to the Vigilance dept?.
As directed by the Commission, the Under Secretary, Vigilance & Anti-Corruption Department again furnished one letter dated 2nd Nov., 2018 that there is no such complaint received by the Directorate of Vigilance & Anti-Corruption which itself is self explanatory. Now, when there was no complaint made to the Vigilance by Mr. H. Ezra then why did Legal Officer Gaikhonlung and Jt. Secretary, George Maram invented such theory and fools not only me but the Commission as well as the Vigilance Dept.? The case is still pending in the Information Commission. Where is their integrity? All these are happening at the behest of Mr. John.
Since the Department of TA&H/TRI did not give me the copy of the re-designation of AO cum RO from RO post (as claimed by the Director, Mr. Joseph), I filed an RTI application to the Department of Personnel & Administrative Reforms (Personnel Division) seeking information whether the Administrative officer-cum-Research Officer of TRI is a re-designated post from Research Officer?
The Under Secretary DP transfer the RTI on 13th Sept, 2018 to the Under Secretary, TA&Hills since the matter pertain to the AD, TA&Hills, the Dept. may reply to it.
But nearly after 2 months, I did not receive any reply. I wrote an appeal to the then Secretary, TA&Hills, Shri Athem Muivah to give me the reply within 2nd November failing which I have no option but to file another case.
Again, their cheating nature did not stop as on 31st Oct, 2018 I received a letter signed by Dr. R.A. Ransing, Under Secretary, TA&Hills stating that he is enclosing the RTI information sought by me. But again, the Dept. cheated me by enclosing a Gazette copy (No. 485) which is a copy of the regularization of Mr. John Gaidingam D. as Administrative Officer cum Research Officer on 24th December, 2016 and not of re-designation. It was not at all related with the re-designation of his post from RO to AO-cum-RO.
I personally met the Under Secretary on 2nd Nov.2018 and asked him as to why he is supplying irrelevant document through RTI? He replied to me that he did not have any knowledge and Mr. Gaikhonlung, Legal Officer took his signature stating that it’s an urgent matter. He mentions that he has no idea what was enclosed. But till today, I did not receive any further letters and documents or clarification from his side also. Therefore, it is a clear indication that the officers of TA&Hills/TRI are dancing at the fingertips of Mr. John Gaidingam D trampling RTI and violating the sanctity of the Act.  
Based on the above stated facts it is for your kind information that Mr. John Gaidingam Dangmei serving as Adminisrative officer cum Research Officer in TRI was said to be appointed on 13th July, 2016 to a non-sanctioned post of Research officer with U.O.No. 317/2012/FD (PIC) dated 18/3/2013 but  an RTI reply dated 10th July, 2018 from the Deputy Secretary, Finance Department (PIC) reveals that there is no such record with U.O.317/2012/FD (PIC) dated 18/3/2013 which means that it is a fake U.O.No. Moreover, it is found that he was regularised as Administrative Officer cum Research Officer on the same day the post was sanction i.e 24th December, 2106. Moreover, an RTI replied from the Department of Personnel & Administrative Reforms (Personnel Division) dated 13th Sept., 2018 also reveals that – No RR for the post of Aministrative Officer cum research Officer in TRI has been framed by DP as per record.
Again, the officer is found to be enjoying a grade pay of Rs.5400/- which is equivalent to MCS GP under MPSC whereas when he was appointed as Research Officer his GP was Rs.4400/-. Since, the Director, Shri Joseph claimed that there was no promotion but re-designation was done I put him with a simple question – how did Mr. John GP increased from Rs.4400 to Rs.5400 when there was no promotion. If at all (for e.g) re-designation was done then only the title will change and not his Grade Pay. Is this justice for all those officers under the Manipur Govt. who are enjoying Grade Pay of Rs. 4400/-? If the GP of Mr. John can be increased from Rs.4400 to Rs.5400/- within few months then Hon’ble Sir and your cabinet are requested to do the same for all officers of Manipur. Why only in the case of Mr. John? Every employee should be treated equally without biased.
I have been toiling door to door for justice but till today why no action is taken up against the fake RO cum controversial AO cum RO, Mr John of TRI. Can IAS / Bureaucrats do whatever they want? Should we remain silent knowing the truth? Is Govt. officials not accountable? Are they exempted from penalty? Why is the Govt. silent about the matter? Should the public stop supporting the anti- corruption campaign or is it just for show? If the Govt. cannot handle/ solved such a small case then I doubt that the Govt. can do anything. It is just a hollow promise.
The fake RO cum controversial AO cum RO, Mr John Gaidingam D, Jt Secretary, TA&H,  Mr. George K. Maram (who is on deputation since 1st August 2012 from Pondicherry), the masterminds, Director, TA&Hills/ TRI, Mr. Joseph Pauline Kamson, an IAS who does not know the difference between A & B, Legal Officer, TA&Hills, Mr. Gaikhonlung Gangmei, who become illegal officer, Under Secretary, Dr.R.A.Ransing must be suspended  immediately as they are involve in preventing and obstructing the process of the investigation by supplying wrongful, incomplete and misleading information intentionally misusing their power. The information Commission had called all files on 12 Nov.and they too found that the AO cum RO was not re-designated post as alleged by the department in his decision.
Moreover, I strongly demand for immediate suspension (without pay) of Administrative Officer-cum-Research Officer Mr. John Gaidingam D. during investigation period as Vigilance case is also pending against him. Allowing him to work and handle office files is leading to more corruption which in return impede the process of investigation against him. Moreover, as he is not suspended he is taking upper hand by blocking the investigation which is not justifiable to me. It is also very disheartening as to why action against him is not taken up by the Department despite the proof and why the department is allowed to function at the whim and fancy of Mr. John?.
        I also once again strongly demand to recover all the salary he had enjoyed as contract Research officer as there is no such record with U.O.No.317/2012/FD (PIC) dated 18/3/2013 regarding contractual engagement of Research Officer in Tribal Research Institute, Manipur with Finance Department and as his salary is found to increase from Rs. 13,700/- i.e Rs. 9300+ GP Rs. 4400/- to Rs.9300-34800+GP 5400 without promotion when he is said to be regularised as Administrative Officer-cum-Research Officer in order to encourage the fight against corruption and nepotism without any reservation and bias.
I also demand to know as to why no action is taken as per the instruction given by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Govt of India as per the D.O. No. PS to MTA/21/506/2018 of P.S to Shri Jual Oram, Hon’ble Minister of Tribal Affairs, Govt. of India dated 11 October, 2018 given to Shri Athem Muivah, Secretary despite lapses of one month. What and who is stopping the Dept. from taking action?.
Hon’ble Sir, I am not writing because I’m perfect but because I’m tired of seeing the people and myself beaten down by these corrupt officials. Corruption, dishonesty and nepotism have become more important to them than their human dignity. Their corrupt philosophy has limited the trust and faith in your Government and the departments. It is high time to take a hard look and awake from the deep slumber and set a precedent in the history in fight against corruption, nepotism and injustice in public interest.
 The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything –Albert Einstein

Yours faithfully,
Shri Manglien Gangte
 Lambulane, Imphal East
#9774235608

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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