Now, Punjab Vigilance Bureau can carry out post-registry probe

CVC’s move aims at tackling corruption in tehsils

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24

In an out-of-the-ordinary move to arrest corruption in different tehsils at the time of registering sale deeds, Punjab Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) Justice Mehtab Singh Gill has permitted the Vigilance Bureau (VB) to carry out post-registry probe by interacting with buyers and sellers for obtaining tangible information.

The bureau had sought Justice Gill’s permission to record the statements of vendors and vendees after procuring the copies of sale deeds following their reluctance or inability to come out with concrete evidence against the revenue officials and registration authorities.

The permission comes days after Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi had expressed desire to see an end to corruption at the time of getting sale deeds registered. The matter was brought to Justice Gill’s notice after Assistant Inspector General, Vigilance Bureau, Flying Squad, Punjab, wrote a letter seeking permission to take appropriate action against the revenue officials/registration authorities after referring to previous communications in this regard by Additional Director General of Police, Vigilance Bureau.

It was stated, among other things, that strong steps were required to be initiated by the bureau following large-scale complaints regarding corruption in tehsils. The bureau said the complainants were unable to present concrete evidence of corruption or come out with pre-trap recordings to enable it to proceed against the erring and corrupt functionaries.

It was suggested the copies of all the registries in the tehsils could be obtained in the evenings before interacting with buyers and sellers and recording their statements on how much was paid to whom before proceeding further. As such, Justice Gill’s permission was sought to act against them in accordance with law. Taking up the matter, Justice Gill asserted: “Requisite permission is granted to take action and do the needful as it deems fit for the inquiry officer to do so.”

Justice Gill has already placed the Deputy Commissioners across the state in the dock for apparently going soft on revenue officials by delaying the decision on prosecution sanction. Justice Gill also made it clear that mutations pleas were being decided beyond the prescribed period, leaving room for corruption.

In a scathing communiqué to all deputy commissioners, Justice Gill had earlier asserted it had come to his notice that extraordinary delay was being caused for whatsoever reason regarding the grant of prosecution sanction. “This delay in prosecution sanction is specially where revenue officials are involved,” Justice Gill asserted.

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