Crime-Justice

Punjab Vigilance Bureau resolves to make Punjab ahead in curbing social malady

December 30, 2017 05:14 PM

Punjab News Express
CHANDIGARH: Aiming to stamp out corruption from all public offices, the Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) had adopted multi-pronged approach to corner the bribe seekers and generate awareness among the public during the year to make Punjab ahead in curbing the social malady. During this year, the VB has been able to nab 132 officials of different departments and 17 private persons red handed while accepting bribes in 118 trap cases.
Disclosing this VB Chief Director Mr. B.K. Uppal, ADGP said the Bureau had vowed to deal with corruption with an iron hand to end malpractices from all Government offices, one of the promises made by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to the people of the state. 'Adopting a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of corruption, Bureau has nabbed 12 Gazzeted Officers (GOs) and 122 Non-Gazzetted Officials (NGOs) since January 1 to December 30, 2017. Out of this 25 officers and officials were arrested with bribe money ranging from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 2 lakh in 16 trap cases,", he added.
VB Chief revealed that during the year, apart from other departments, 39 officials of Punjab Police, 34 of Revenue Department, 12 of PSPCL, 7 of Local Bodies Department, 6 of Panchayats and Rural Development and 5 of Irrigation department were nabbed red handed while taking bribes in separate cases. "DGP Punjab Mr. Suresh Arora had asked the Bureau to take strict action against the corrupt police officers and officials," told Vigilance Chief.
Giving details about the performance of Bureau he informed that VB has registered 35 criminal cases against 131 accused which include 23 GOs, 56 NGOs and 52 private persons. Apart from this, 95 Vigilance Enquires have also been registered to probe corruption complaints against 50 GOs, 71 NGOs and 55 private persons. Five Disproportionate Assets cases were also registered against four 4 GOs and one NGO, said Mr Uppal.
He further added that to implement the anti-corruption policy of Punjab Chief Minister, the Vigilance officers have made all efforts to ensure that no suspect escaped punishment in the special courts and ensured presence of evidence, arguments and proper pairvi in the courts.
Vigilance Chief further informed that the Bureau had been able to complete 57 Vigilance Enquiries and secured 42 percent conviction rate in vigilance cases from special courts. During the year different special courts have sentenced 62 accused in 44 cases under prevention of corruption act which includes 8 GOs, 37 NGOs and 17 private persons and awarded with imprisonments from one year to seven years. The courts have imposed fines from Rs. 1,500 to 2 lakh in these cases which amounts to total sum of Rs. 17,59,000, adding he said PCS officer TK Goel was also sentenced with 3 years jail and fine of Rs. 12,000.
Mr Uppal also informed that the state government had terminated the services of one GO and five NGOs on the recommendations of VB after registration of corruption cases against them and imprisonments thereafter. He informed that Bureau had received total 4017 complaints out of which 23 vigilance enquiries were registered for further probe and 5 criminal cases were registered against the accused and many of them were sent to the concerned Administrative Departments for further necessary actions.
Giving details of prominent cases he informed that SE GMADA Surinderpal Singh and partners of his firms, Contractor Gurinder Singh and 7 engineers accused in infamous irrigation scam, Chief Engineer Jatinder Singh and 4 others in Harike canal scam, Dr. Harjinder Singh and Saveena Sharma of State Chemical laboratory Kharar, Gurmeet Singh Brar deputy jail superintendent Mansa and SE PWD parminder Singh Tiwana involved in UBDC bridge at Babbehali, Gurdaspur were arrested during the year.
To check malpractices in different departments, Mr. Uppal said the VB had made 65 Surprise Checks in the state during the year which mainly include illegal plying of private buses, checking of airport road, foodgrain markets during Rabi and Kharif seasons, Harike canal division Ferozepur and bridge on Upper Bari Doab Canal at Babbehali. Apart from this, to educate the public about corruption, the VB had organised Seminars, Rallies, Radio talks, Painting competitions in schools, interaction with Panchayats, NGOs and other persons in villages, offices and educational institutes and distributed pamphlets during Vigilance Awareness Week in last month. "An integrity pledge was also administered to all the officers and employees of the bureau," he added.
Vigilance Chief Mr Uppal has asked the public as well as honest public servants to help the Bureau in its anti-corruption drive in the state and inform the Bureau on its toll free helpline 1800-1800-1000 or lodge online complaints on VB website if any public servant demands bribe. He assured that information and identity of the informers would be kept strictly confidential.
He stressed that no innocent officer/official would be harassed in any manner and asked all the honest officers to perform their duties without any fear or favour. He has categorically said that any misconduct on the part of VB officials would not be tolerated at any cost.

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