Captain Amarinder-led Cabinet clears Establishment of Punjab State Vigilance Commission

CM empowered to make changes in draft ordinance to ensure fool-proof mechanism to check corruption in public service

Captain Amarinder-led Cabinet clears Establishment of Punjab State Vigilance Commission

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. File Photo

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23

To bring in more transparency and check corruption among public servants, the Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday approved the establishment of a multi-member Vigilance Commission.

The Commission has been formed in line with the vision of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who had steered the constitution of a similar body in 2006, which was however scrapped by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) government when it came to power in 2007.

The Punjab State Vigilance Commission Ordinance, 2020, proposes to set up Commission as an independent body to exercise more effective superintendence over the functioning of Vigilance Bureau and all other departments of the state government, in order to provide clean, fair and transparent administration. It will comprise a chairman with two members, with a term of 5 years, an official spokesperson said after the Cabinet meeting.

The Chief Minister has been empowered to make any changes in the Ordinance once drafted by the Law Remembrance in order to ensure the creation of a fool-proof mechanism to look into all issues in detail and deliver justice in all fairness.

The Punjab State Vigilance Commission shall review the progress of investigations conducted by the Vigilance Bureau and cases of prosecution sanction pending with various departments of the government, said the spokesperson.

The Vigilance Commission shall tender advice to the various departments of the government, and other investigations on vigilance matters.

It has been empowered to give directions to the Vigilance Bureau for discharging the responsibility entrusted to it. It has also been empowered to inquire or cause an inquiry/investigation to be made in respect of allegations made under the Prevention of Corruption Act and other relevant offences against public servants, said the spokesperson.  

Giving details after the virtual Cabinet meet, the spokesperson said the Commission would consist of the State Chief Vigilance Commissioner as Chairperson, to be appointed from amongst those persons who had been or were serving as Judge of a High Court or an officer in the rank and pay scale of the Secretary to Government of India.

Two Vigilance Commissioners will be appointed as members from amongst persons who have been or are in an All India Service or in any Civil Service of the Union of State or in a civil post under the Union or State having expertise and experience in matters relating to vigilance, policy making, administration (including police administration), finance (including insurance and banking law) in the rank and pay scale of the Additional Secretary to the Government of India or the Financial Commissioner of the State, revealed the spokesperson.  

Both the Vigilance Commissioners shall not belong to the same service or have exactly similar experience, the spokesperson added.

These appointments shall be made on the recommendations of a committee chaired by the Chief Minister with Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker and the senior-most minister of the Council of Ministers (after the CM) as its members, said the spokesperson. 

Pertinently, there is a Central Vigilance Commission established under the Central Vigilance Commission Act 2003 to enquire or cause to enquire into offences alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, by certain categories of public servants of the Central Government, Corporations established by or under any Central Act etc. and to exercise superintendence over the functioning of Central Bureau of Investigation. However, there is at present no such body under the state government.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet on Wednesday also approved the Annual Administrative Report of Vigilance Bureau for the year 2017.

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