Vigilance dept losing out to CBI in nabbing corrupt cops in Chandigarh
The officials blame trust deficit, manpower shortage and procedural delays, for the complainants opting to lodge their complaints with the CBI instead of the vigilance department.punjab Updated: Nov 05, 2017 10:48 IST
Even though the UT administrator, VP Badnore, has declared zero tolerance to corruption in the police ranks, the vigilance department has failed to nab anyone, while the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has already trapped three cops for graft this year.
The officials blame trust deficit, manpower shortage and procedural delays, for the complainants opting to lodge their complaints with the CBI instead of the vigilance department.
The recent arrest of Sub Inspector Mohan Singh, posted at Sector 31 police station, with 2 lakh in a graft case has once again underlined the common man’s preference for CBI over the vigilance. The vigilance department officials blame it on the “procedure”. In order to act on any complaint of graft, the department has to seek permission from the UT adviser, designated the chief vigilance officer.
“The complaints want immediate action but we are rule-bound to take permission and this takes time,” lamented a vigilance department official, who didn’t want to be named. Apart from the procedural delays, the vigilance is also battling “trust deficit” among residents. “There is a perception that the vigilance wing is part of the local administration, and thus it won’t take action against its own employees,” said a senior UT official.
Around 25 complaints were filed with the vigilance department in the last one year of which 50% are still under inquiry.
“It is all about perception. The CBI, as a premier investigation agency, enjoys more trust and credibility. So, complainants prefer CBI to state vigilance,” said Officer on Special Duty (Vigilance) DSP Sukhraj Katewa.
Manpower upgrade pending
The vigilance department is also short of manpower. As of now, the sanctioned strength is of 11 persons, including a DSP, one inspector and two sub-inspectors. The department has been without an inspector since September. A proposal to increase the strength is pending with the ministry of home affairs.
SHO, vigilance police station, Inspector Sri Prakash, was repatriated to the police department on September 8, and asked to report at the Police Lines in Sector 26. The post is still vacant. Prakash had unearthed a vehicle registration scam at the Registering and Licensing Authority, Sector 17, during his tenure. He had also initiated a probe against various UT police personnel, which had left many cops fuming.
The slow pace of probe in cases flagged by the vigilance department is also eroding its credibility. The department had recommended registration of an FIR in the stationery scam in September, but it is yet to be registered.
The scam was brought to light by Constable Jagjeet Singh posted at the IT Park police station. A probe showed how officials had allegedly submitted fictitious bills showing purchase of stationery meant for all city police stations, and misappropriated funds worth over 35 lakh.
Insiders lament that the vigilance department has been rendered as a recommendatory body, and the police department doesn’t bother to intimate it about any action taken.
Sources said officials of UT administration require vigilance clearance, but the police department seldom informs them about any action taken on the vigilance recommendations.
There is a move now to develop a two-way communication process, but sources say it will take time.