Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has made it clear to all the employees that non-submission of property returns will invite action against them under the Prevention of Corruption Act and denial of their vigilance clearance. Moreover, the Drawing and Disbursing Officers (DDOs) have been asked to ensure registration of those employees, who have not yet registered on the Property Return Statement (PRS) Portal.
EXCELSIOR in its edition dated December 1, 2022 had exclusively reported that there was no 100% compliance of the directions regarding filing of online property returns and this has been viewed seriously by the Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, who has accordingly directed the Secretary, General Administration Department to issue fresh instructions in this regard and ensure that any employee who fails to submit online property return should be denied vigilance clearance.
Today, Secretary to the Government, General Administration Department Dr Piyush Singla has issued a circular asking all the employees working under the J&K Government to file their property returns for the year 2022 on the PRS Portal from January 1, 2023 up to January 31, 2023.
It has been made clear in the circular that the non-submission of property returns by the employees shall invite action against them under the Prevention of Corruption Act besides shall result in denial of their vigilance clearance.
Further, it is enjoined upon all the Drawing and Disbursing Officers (DDOs) to ensure registration of those employees, who have not yet registered on the PRS Portal besides ensuring filing of property details by their cent percent employees within the specified timelines as the portal will automatically close on January 31, 2023.
Sub-Section 2 of Section 9 of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Men and Public Servants Declaration of Assets and Other Provisions Act, 1983 lays down that it shall be incumbent on the part of every public servant to submit annual returns of the assets held by him and his family members in the month of January every year and shall indicate the reasons for increase, if any, in the assets and source thereof.
The J&K Public Servants Declaration of Assets Act and Rules made there-under provide for imposing a penalty for non-submission of the property returns by the public servants and if any public servant without any reasonable cause fails to submit the return annually, he or she shall be guilty of committing criminal misconduct under the Prevention of Corruption Act and shall be punishable under the Act.
Further, the Act and Rules also lay down that every public servant shall submit annual property returns as per the instructions issued by the Government from time to time in respect of all the assets possessed by him and his family members.
With a view to make the process of filing of property returns employee friendly, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir has launched online portal for filing of annual property returns (PRS Portal) by each and every Government employee as mandated under the J&K Public Servants Declaration of Assets Act and Rules made there-under and also as per the provisions of the Employees Conduct Rules, every year ending December 31st by or before January 31 of the next calendar year.
It is pertinent to mention here that every public servant is required to submit annual return in respect of all assets possessed by him and his family members which shall include the assets in respect of movable property, the value of which exceeds his two months basic salary in each case giving full particulars regarding cash balance, saving bank deposits, shares, cash certificates, fixed deposits, debentures, security bond; jewelery/ornaments etc and household items (electric and electronic items only).
Moreover, every public servant is supposed to bring to the notice of the prescribed authority the acquisition or transfer of movable property where the value of such property exceeds his two months basic salary in each case. (Daily Excelsior)