Nearly 3 yrs after enactment of Act, Govt frames Rules for Vigilance Commission

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Nov 21: Over two and a half years after the enactment of Jammu and Kashmir State Vigilance Commission Act by the State Legislature, the State Government has finally woken up from the deep slumber and framed the Rules, which will guide the Vigilance Commission in achieving the objectives for which this body was constituted.
Now, it has become amply clear that State Vigilance Commission will not only have superintendence over the State Vigilance Organization but also over the Vigilance Administration of the various departments of the Government or Corporations, Government Companies, Public Sector Undertakings and Societies etc.
According to the Rules, the Commission will have its offices both at Srinagar and Jammu and will move Srinagar to Jammu and vice-versa on Annual Darbar Move. Moreover, the Commission will have a Registry in its offices both at Jammu and Srinagar and each Registry will be headed by an Additional Registrar or Deputy Registrar as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner may authorize in this behalf.
There will be a Complaints Screening Committee headed by the Registrar to examine the complaint, affidavit and accompanied documents and report as to whether it has been filed in accordance with the Act and the Rules.
The Commission, as per the Rules, may utilize the service of any officer, agency or person having expertise in the relevant field for the purpose of facilitating conduct of enquiries. Moreover, it can inspect any office of the Government, local authorities, Corporations, Government Companies or Societies in connection with an enquiry or investigation of a complaint involving an allegation falling within the ambit of Section 8(1)(C) and 8(1)(D) of the Act.
Stating that Commission can direct any public servant to furnish information or produce documents under Section 11 of the Act, the Rules said, “the Commission may direct the competent authority to initiate disciplinary proceedings against any public servant who refuses or fails to produce any file or document in his custody within the time stipulated in the notice issued under Sub-Rule (1)”.
“The Commission shall supervise the vigilance related work undertaken by the State Vigilance Organization in any of the modes prescribed under the Vigilance Manual 2008 vis-à-vis FIR cases, secret and open verifications, joint surprise checks and preliminary enquiries”, the Rules said, adding “it shall be obligatory on the part of Director Vigilance to ensure that once a case is registered or preliminary enquiry is ordered a copy of FIR or PE along with the copy of complaint is transmitted to the Vigilance Commission within 24 hours”.
The Director of Vigilance is required to submit the progress reports on monthly basis in all under investigation cases and the preliminary enquiries to the Commission, which has the powers to ask for progress report in any FIR or Preliminary Enquiry at any time and such reports shall be submitted with utmost promptitude by the Director Vigilance. “On the receipt of progress reports in FIR cases and Preliminary Enquiries, the Commission has the powers to issue directions to the Director Vigilance, who shall take further action so as to bring the investigation and enquiries to logical conclusion”, the Rules said.
According to the Rules, the Commission can review the investigation and enquiries under probe with Vigilance Organization on regular basis till these are brought to logical conclusion and the Director of Vigilance is required to keep the Commission informed about the secret and open verifications and joint surprise checks being conducted by it. Notwithstanding the final conclusions, the outcome of such verifications and surprise checks is required to be shared with the Commission by the Director Vigilance.
About the action on conclusion of investigation and Preliminary Enquiries, the Rules said, “when a prima facie case for the commission of offence under Prevention of Corruption Act is found established against an in-service accused public servant, the Vigilance Organization before sending the case to the sanctioning authority, is required to prepare a final investigation report and submit the same along with case diary file to the Commission for its advice”.
Moreover, it shall be the duty of the Vigilance Organization to conduct enquiry into any reference or complaint received from the Commission. The Commission is also empowered to assess the work of the Director Vigilance and his subordinate officers including the Investigating Officers and assessment will be sent to concerned APR accepting authority at the end of the financial year and will form part of overall assessment of the officer, the Rules said.
About supervision over vigilance administration of other departments, statutory bodies, corporations, Government companies, societies and local authorities, the Rules said, “the primary responsibility for maintenance of purity, integrity and efficiency in the organization shall vest in the Administrative Secretary, the Head of the Department or the authority heading such bodies. However, to assist those heading such bodies in discharge of duties relating to Vigilance Administration there shall be an organized institution of Vigilance officers who shall head the Vigilance Wing of the organization/department and provide a link between the organization and State Vigilance Commission”.
“All the Administrative Secretaries of various departments, statutory bodies, corporations, Government companies, societies and local authorities shall have an officer designated as Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) at Administrative Department level (Civil Secretariat) responsible for the Vigilance Administration and at Directorate/HoD level, Departmental Vigilance Officer (DVO) will be responsible for Vigilance Administration and he will function directly under the supervision of concerned CVO”, the Rules said.
The Additional Deputy Commissioner will be an Ex-Officio District Vigilance Officer in respect of the offices of all Government and other departments stationed in their respective districts. All the Government departments, local authorities, corporations, Government companies or Societies will designate an officer to function as Additional Vigilance Officer (AVO), who will assist the District Vigilance Officer and the DVO in the Vigilance Administration pertaining to their respective departments.
Commission will exercise superintendence over the Vigilance Administration of various departments of the Government or Corporations established in the State by or under any Central Act or the Act of State Legislature. However, the Commission has not been authorized to exercise superintendence over the Vigilance Administration in a manner not consistent with the directions relating to vigilance matters issued by the Government and to confer power upon the Commission to issue directions relating to any policy matter.
In the Rules, the tenure of officers as CVO and DVO, duties of CVOs, DVOs and District VOs and procedure for submission of reports by these officers and financial powers of the Vigilance Commission have also been clearly defined.


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