D. K. Ravi , a 2009-batch IAS Officer, was notable for his fight against the land and sand mafia.
It was under Ravi’s 2014-15 audit alone, that about Rs 130 crores of tax evasion was recovered from a group of established realty firms. Similar such audits is estimated to have freed about Rs 1000 crores.
Following his recent transfer as the Joint Commissioner of Commercial Taxes Department (Enforcement), Ravi had waged raids to expose tax frauds and uncover significant malpractices by local corporate giants such as Nitesh Estates Private Ltd, Rajesh Exports and Shubh Jewellers.
However, in the wake of this tragedy, exploring a few questions about the safety of enforcers of social law and order seems worthwhile.
Ours isn’t a safe country for whistleblowers
The murders of Satyendra Dubey, Shanmughan Manjunath and SP Mahantesh, to note a few, manifest the underlying hazards. These incidents may have prompted the Parliament to conceptualize the Whistle Blowers Protection Act, but the implementation of this Act, when eventually enforced, remains to be seen.
The spirit of- and the threats posed to- the whistle blowers also apply to administrative officials who initiate and conduct stringent action against the perpetrators. Instead of being encouraged these whistle blowers are discriminated, abused and harrassed.
From suspension (read Durga Shakti Nagpal, UP), physical attacks (read Rashmi Mahesh, Karnataka) to suspected murders (as it could, in the case of D. K. Ravi), the discrimination continues to take its dark, evil roots in our society.
In such regrettable developments, the Centre must, without delay or fail, heed to the clarion calls for a thorough and transparent CBI enquiry. Not only is the enquiry imperative and inevitable, this is also the least that can be done.
Ravi’s efforts and achievement was founded on his strong desire for social welfare and in every sense, shouldn’t have ended thus. His departure should not be shelved away as just another case of nonchalant disregard towards the spirit of The Constitution; to protect its citizens from the evils of corruption and blatant, daylight treason.
- Ritesh Prask