HYDERABAD: Last year when he visited the city, KV Chowdary, the central vigilance commissioner, had said there were about 6,500 cases which were over 20 years old and pending trial. In an interview with Express, Chowdary speaks about technology as enabler to expedite trials, protection for vigilance officers, need for revising guidelines on investigation, etc. Here are excerpts:
Investigation and trial are taking years. How can technology act as an enabler here?
E-court is a place where technology is being enabled to expedite trial. Courts have two difficulties. First, the extraordinary number of cases and the limited number of judicial officers. So there is a time lag. Second, delay in trial. In any anti-corruption case, there would be up to 50 witnesses during trial. Some of them are proforma witnesses. An enabling provision in the law to record evidence through video conferencing can be helpful.
Do investigating officers have access to latest technologies?
The commission has been organising courses on forensic study. We have sent about 25 chief vigilance officers from banks to study the forensic techniques at the Gujarat state forensic lab. We are also holding smaller training programmes. We can equip or enable the CVOs or officers below them on the types of methodology available. Once he is aware, it is up to the individual to use the expertise in respective cases.
Do certain investigative methods need to be updated in tune with latest technologies?
Our vigilance manual, which is more than 9 years old, is being revised and will be ready in a month or so. Other guidelines on investigation techniques also need a revisit.
How do you protect your officers who often complain about PSU managements’ vengeful attitude?
There maybe stray cases but there is protection. If any person working in a vigilance organisation perceives threat of persecution and his career prospects are affected, we take remedial action.