Dowry issue: govt. asked to keep a special watch on employees
The 11th Pay Revision Commission has urged the State government to maintain a “special watch” over government employees with respect to the giving and taking of dowry.
The recommendation is part of the commission’s report on ‘Administrative Efficiency, Social Accountability, People Friendliness, and Gender Sensitivity’, which has called for a timely revision of the Kerala Government Servants Conduct Rules, 1960.
The commission has proposed that every male employee should furnish separate affidavits, signed by him and his wife, regarding the gifts in the form of immovable property, vehicles, gold, cash and durable goods (of value above the limit permitted under the Conduct Rules) received by them for the marriage.
This has to be done within one month of the marriage, or, if the employee is already married, within one month of his joining the service. The affidavits should be scrutinised by the supervisory officer and suspicious cases should be referred to the police and dowry prohibition officer for investigation.
In effect, the commission is seeking to add more teeth to the Kerala Government Servants Conduct Rules that bars government servants from taking or giving dowry “for his marriage or for the marriage of any member, or dependent, of his family”.
“The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, and the amendments to the Indian Penal Code are all there, applicable to all offenders, but in respect of government employees, it is necessary to have a special watch,” the commission said.
The commission has also recommended measures for strictly prohibiting direct political activity by government servants. Although Rule 67 (A) of the conduct rules prohibited such activities, almost all political parties were guilty of permitting their followers in government service to violate it, the commission said. The commission has also sought measures to strictly impose the rules pertaining to consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs by government servants.