The Delhi government on Friday issued a circular, saying that the anti-corruption branch (ACB) can file FIRs only with permission from the ACB’s additional commissioner or the government’s vigilance secretary/director.
This effectively means that MK Meena, who was appointed as joint commissioner in the ACB by lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung, will not able to take any key decisions on his own.
Traditionally, the ACB has been headed by an additional commissioner till Jung appointed Meena amid his power tussle with chief minister Arvind Kejriwal over administrative control. Meena’s appointment was surrounded by controversy with the Delhi government saying it does not want him to head of ACB and wanting the additional commissioner as the chief instead.
Sources said the government’s move is calculated to stop Meena from taking any action in the complaint against the principal secretary to the CM, Rajendra Kumar.
“In trap cases, the cases will be registered against the SPSs (people facing graft charges) by the ACB with the approval of the additional commissioner. In all other cases, the ACB shall take prior approval of the director/secretary (vigilance) before registering an FIR under the Prevention of Corruption Act against a public servant,” the circular reads.
The government also directed the additional commissioner of the ACB to send a report on important matters such as FIRs registered, arrests made and convictions to the director of vigilance on daily basis by 5pm.
“Regarding registration of complaints other than FIRs for investigation, the ACB will register such complaints for preliminary enquiry with the approval of secretary (vigilance). The approval of the secretary shall also be taken by the ACB before closing a case taken up by the ACB for probe,” the circular reads.
The government said that if a public servant filed a complaint at Delhi government’s helpline — 1031, the ACB should receive it and should send the status of such complaints on a fortnightly basis to the directorate of vigilance. The department has prepared a pro forma for this.
“The government has collected various orders and circulars issued in 1977 and 1983 and issued a common order to clear the air on what ACB should follow. The government also wants to make it clear that the only competent authority is either the additional commissioner or secretary vigilance,” the official added.