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CBI empowers state anti-corruption units

The move is aimed at trapping and prosecuting corrupt Central government employees reports, Haider Naqvi.

india Updated: May 04, 2007 02:24 IST
Haidar Naqvi
Haidar Naqvi

The central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has empowered the anti-corruption units of the states to trap and prosecute corrupt Central government employees.

The premier agency, till date, had been empowered to trap corrupt central government employees and subsequently prosecute them. But after high-level deliberations, the CBI addressed this long-standing demand in consonance with CBI crime manual, 2005.

The issue had come up for discussion during the 16th biennial conference of heads of anti-corruption bureaus and the CBI in November, last year. All the bureau heads had asked for sanction of prosecution of officials serving under the Central government without routing it to the CBI.

A circular, sent on April 3 to state governments by Deputy Director P Kamaraj, mentions that the CBI has lifted the barrier to accommodate state agencies in the exercise against corrupt officials. The state agencies will draw, according to the circular, powers from para 1.11 of chapter 1 of the CBI crime manual.

The two-page circular, in possession of Hindustan Times, says the state agencies such as Vigilance Department, Anti-corruption Bureau and the CB-CID could trap any Central government employee accepting bribe at any given point of time as the CBI does.

Further, the agencies have the right to register cases, secure evidence and prosecute them.

The only rider is the agency concerned will have to inform the local unit of the CBI or could coordination with the agency. However, in cases of exigencies, agency heads have the right of exercising their discretion and inform the CBI unit after the operation is completed.

So also the agency, as usual, before going in for the catch would have sought sanction of the competent authority of the department whose official is to be trapped. In addition, the chief vigilance commissioner (CVC) would also be informed.

This idea of empowerment was being pursued by state agencies as they felt they lacked teeth in dealing with Central employees. Even the CBI that shares the onus of fighting corruption had its own share of problems. One of the problems was shortage of manpower.

Additional Director General (Vigilance) VN Rai said the move was beneficial for the CBI had presence only in the state capital so it had a restricted reach while the Central government employees specifically those serving in banks are almost everywhere.

The decision to involve state agencies in this exercise would not only extend the reach but will yield good results in the long run.

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