Every senior state and central government officer must make a statement called an Annual Property Return (APR). This regulation pertains to all civil services officers in the country. It is a declaration of all the immovable property (such as land, buildings, apartments etc.) owned, acquired, or inherited by the officer. It also includes details of properties held on lease or mortgage. Furthermore, it includes details of all the properties held by the officer in their own name or in the name of a family member or dependent.
It is a declaration form that must be filled out by all Class I and Class II government officers when they are first appointed to the service. After that, the officer must file the return at an interval of every twelve months.
All state and central government civil services officers, are required to file Annual Property Returns. IAS, IFS, and IPS officers must file the Annual Property Return online. According to the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Government of India, all Class I and Class II officers of Group A and Group B services must file the APR or the Statement of Immovable Property Return. This complies with Rule 15(3) of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1955. This is now called Rule 18(1) of the CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964. In some states, all state government employees are required to file the APR.
The Annual Property Return filing is one of the main ways the government ensures that the top rungs of the administrative machinery remain clean and corruption free. Declaring their immovable assets is a voluntary system of disclosure that senior government officers undertake to keep up with their vigilance and security clearances. Filing the Annual Property Return online ensures that democracy in the country remains transparent and that all government departments function objectively and impartially. It is a key system of checks and balances integral to the government's executive machinery.
An Annual Property Return typically contains the following information –
Most state government civil services officers must file the Annual Property Return online through the state government website. Each state government department has its own website, which features a form that can be downloaded, filled in, scanned, and uploaded on an annual basis. Let us take a look at the step-by-step process to file these returns.
The APR is a mechanism to hold senior government officials responsible for their conduct while in office. Every government employee needs to be clear about the APR regulations. In certain years, the state or central government may extend the deadline to fill in this return and submit this online. For example, in the year of the state elections, the Odisha state government extended the deadline for filing the APR.
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