There is good news for those hesitating to approach the Punjab vigilance bureau (VB) for a sting against bribe-seekers - their money used in such traps would now be refunded immediately after the registration of the case.
The state government has finally given the nod to the VB's year-old proposal that the amount used in the trap be allowed to be refunded to the complainants immediately as it would encourage many more to come forward for trapping the culprits.
The state's finance department gave its consent to the home department last week and, in turn, the VB would now issue a notification soon, a senior VB official told HT.
The step also holds significance in the absence of a provision for the VB for funding such traps.
According to the new provision, the complainant and the VB would submit a formal request in the court concerned for the refund to comply with the laws under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
VB chief director Suresh Arora had pursued the matter with the state government a year ago, highlighting at that time that around Rs. 50 lakh was lying in various courts across the state as case property.
There are currently 289 such cases where the money in question is a case property. Of these 77 were still under investigation, while the trials were on in the other 212 cases.
As many as 93 of the 289 cases were either under trial or at the investigation stage in the VB's Ludhiana range, followed by 53 each in Amritsar and Patiala, 23 in Ferozepur, 21 each in Jalandhar and Bathinda, while 25 cases were pending in the VB economic offences wing in Chandigarh.