THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As far as the Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau (VACB) is concerned, the Administrative Reforms Commission proposes to have a State Vigilance Police Establishment to function under the State Vigilance Commission.
The VACB should have statutory powers - like in the case of the CBI - to ensure independent and impartial investigation. Only if the vigilance has legal powers and rights can it function effectively. The Administrative Reforms Commission - constituted in August 2016 - was successful in submitting its first report within a year, said ARC chairman VS Achuthanandan.
“The ARC is of the view that our administration and related matters should be completely transparent and highly people-friendly,” said V S Achuthanandan, who was accompanied by ARC members C P Nair and Sheela Thomas.“Many projects by the state government do not reach the beneficiaries due to corruption at different levels of the administrative system. That’s why the ARC proposed to set up a State Vigilance Commission.”
The Vigilance Police Establishment should consist of police officers along with officers with expertise in engineering, finance, revenue, information technology and other related fields.
The ARC proposes to take strict action against corrupt officers irrespective of their position.
There are recommendations to ensure honest officers are not trapped in false cases.
The ARC has suggested an overhaul in the proceedings for investigations:
Instead of filing FIR once a complaint is received, a preliminary enquiry should be conducted. Case should be registered only if there’s any prima facie violation.
Information related to the issue should not be made public before a case is registered.
Investigation should be completed in a time-bound manner. Also, prosecution proceedings should not get delayed.
Setting up of a prosecution directorate to give legal advice to the investigating officer.
Vigilance Commission will supervise the proceedings to issue sanction for prosecution in cases where investigation has been completed.
Vigilance Commission will supervise the cases investigated by the Vigilance Directorate.