Chakradhar Mahanta: A Case Study of the Farce Called Zero Tolerance to Corruption

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Two retired employees are punished with stoppage of their pension and 15 employees have been dismissed for corruption, as the first instances of action in terms with “zero tolerance to corruption” that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wants to make his brand.

But how farcical it is! Not a single heavyweight has been punished to make any impact on the avaricious officialdom.

The two superannuated fellows whose pension has been stopped, belong to the irrigation department controlled directly by the Chief Minister. Therefore, it is expected that the CM must have verified if there were any other established cases of corruption. Had he, how could he not mark retired Chief Engineer Chakradhar Mahanta? Or, he protected Mahanta, whom he had helped with promotion to the coveted position of Chief Engineer despite severe corruption?

I am putting here two documents that would expose the syndrome.

It shows that “offender” Chakradhar Mahanta “while holding high public office in the State of Odisha as Superintending Engineer, southern irrigation circle, Berhampur” practiced so much corruption that vigilance case No. 43 of 2006 was instituted against him under Clause (e) of subsection (1) of Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 on 22.11.2006 and on investigation he was found to have “accumulated properties disproportionate to his known sources of income.” This Official Gazette further tells us that his “offence” having been established, the case has been referred to the Special Court for confiscation of the properties he has “accumulated” “by resorting to corrupt means”.

Now let us see the second document, which shows how, despite such established corruption, this “offender” Chakradhar Mahanta was given promotion by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to the rank of Chief Engineer from the same position where his corruption had attracted vigilance and investigated into and found factual.

Is it zero tolerance to corruption?

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