Chandigarh, January 10: Aiming to stamp out corruption from all public offices, the Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) 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 last year, the VB has been able to nab 157 officials of different departments and 25 private persons while accepting bribes in 131 trap cases.
Disclosing this VB Chief Director-cum-ADGP, B.K. Uppal, said the Bureau had vowed to deal with corruption with an iron hand to end malpractices from all public 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 had nabbed 17 gazzeted officers (GOs) and 140 non-gazzetted officials (NGOs) since January 1 to December 30, 2018.
VB Chief revealed that during the year, apart from other departments, 49 personnel of Punjab Police, 35 of Revenue Department, 19 of Power, 12 of Panchayats and Rural Development, 6 of Health department, 4 of Local Bodies and 4 of Food & Civil Supply department were nabbed red handed while taking bribes in separate cases. He informed that DGP Punjab Suresh Arora had also asked the Bureau to take strict action against the corrupt police officers and officials.
Giving details about the performance of Bureau he added that VB had registered 22 criminal cases against 94 accused which include 22 GOs, 41 NGOs and 31 private persons. Apart from this, 77 Vigilance Enquires have also been registered to probe corruption complaints against 39 GOs, 49 NGOs and 39 private persons. Besides, disproportionate Assets cases were also registered against four NGOs, 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 should escape punishment in the special courts and ensured timely submission of evidence, arguments and proper ‘pairvi’ in the courts.
Uppal further informed that the Bureau had been able to complete 31 Vigilance Enquiries and secured 36 percent conviction rate in vigilance cases from special courts during the year. Various special courts have sentenced 58 accused in 35 cases under prevention of corruption act which includes 6 GOs, 38 NGOs and 14 private persons and awarded with imprisonments from one year to ten years. The courts have also imposed fines from Rs. 5,000 to 2 lakh in these cases which amounts to total sum of Rs. 1,56,98,000, he added.
Mr Uppal also informed that the state government had terminated the services of two GO and ten NGOs on the recommendations of VB after registration of corruption cases against them and imprisonments thereafter.
Giving details of prominent cases he informed that Gulshan Kumar Executive Engineer and Chief Engineer Parmjit Singh Ghuman of Irrigation department (Irrigation Scam), DDPO Gurinder Singh Sarao, Tehsildar Kuldeep Singh, BDPO Malvinder Singh, BDPO Jatinder Singh of Rural Development and Panchayat Department (Jheorheri Scam), Inspector Amandeep Singh, Senior Assistant Sukhpreet Singh and Guru ji alias Master ji of PUNSUP Department (Recruitment Scam) were arrested during last year.
To check malpractices in different departments, Uppal said the VB had made several surprise checks in the state during the year which mainly includes illegal plying of private buses, checking of ambulances, foodgrain markets during Rabi and Kharif seasons. Apart from this, seminars, rallies, radio talks, painting competitions were also organized in educational institutes, Panchayats, NGOs, offices to educate the public about corruption. During the Vigilance Awareness Week pamphlets were distributed and integrity pledge was also administered to all the officers and employees of the bureau,” he added.
Vigilance Chief 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.