Who are the best and most honest police, IAS, IPS, CBI officers or judges of India?
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Venkatesh Shunmugham, Consultant
There are still many honest officers who people are yet not aware of. One of those is Mr. Mahesh Zagade.
He is currently the CEO of Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority(PMRDA). I had personally met him and when there was so much injustice happening to us he was the person we trusted on.
He must have surely done a lot for the society but few of which came out public were :-
As the head of Food and Drugs Administration. When he was the chief of Food and Drugs Administration he has been instrumental in banning gutkha and pan masala in the state of Maharashtra for three years in a row. Also, he has taken strict action on errant chemists operating without pharmacists, or selling medicines without prescriptions played a major role in cracking down on internet pharmacy rackets since the start of his tenure. State FDA had seized and prohibited illegal trade of addictive prescription drugs worth crores , like anti-depressants and sex boosters – sildenafil citrate. The drugs were being illegally exported to Japan, Western Europe and other countries, without prescriptions.
His work on the ban of tobacco-related products was recognized by World Health Organization, for which he was given a global award. “Zagade has been the only officer in the past 60 years who has worked on patient welfare, care and safety as his foremost concern,” said YP Yajurvedi Rao, president, Society for Awareness of Civil Rights. Zagade, in his tenure as the FDA Commissioner had cancelled more than 3,000 licenses because the chemists were selling medicine without recruiting full time pharmacists.
Zagade had taken action against Johnson & Johnson. “Johnson & Johnson had license to manufacture baby powder at Mulund plant. The company was following the process of steam sterilization. During internal investigations in 2007, the company found that some of the batches had very high-micro flora and therefore the company decided to sterilize those batches again. However, the baby powder was packed in the containers, The company decided to sterilize with ethylene oxide for which the standard operating process was not submitted to FDA. Johnson & Johnson should have strictly followed stipulated norms.”
His anti-corrupt nature and implementing the laws led to his departure from FDA after completing three years. Mahesh Zagade held a mirror to his staff in a farewell letter that underlined how corruption was deep-rooted in the department. His stormy three-year tenure ended with amid protests and speculations of the chief minister’s office giving in to pressure from chemists and wholesalers. Zagade did not mince words in his two-page letter and said that it was a daunting task to change the mindset of a few officers serving the department, which “had been steered on the wrong path for far too long“.
Through the letter, he said how he had found out to his “shattering astonishment, a masterly acquired deception…to scuttle basic provisions of the statutes in such a manner that the society remains unaware of the catastrophic effects of non-implementation of legal provisions“.
Zagade went to the extent of saying he was afraid the department will crawl back to its corrupt self. “I fear that things might go back to pre-2011 phenomena,“ he wrote. He also lashed out at FDA officers who termed his way of functioning as authoritarian and termed it as “administrative terrorism“.
He even spoke of having faced humiliation and personal abuse on internet, blogs and even threats to life.
As the Transport commissioner. Zagade had tried to reform the murky sector by banning agents who act as a conduit between license seekers and officials in RTOs, and cracking down on officers involved in malpractices, like allowing overloading by transport vehicles and graft.This resulted in transferring out as the transport commissioner just eight months into the posting.
Currently he is the head of PMRDA and under his jurisdiction I am sure things will happen according to the rules and regulations. Besides he is a good human being and hears to everyone’s grievances personally. We need more people like him in our country.
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