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Vigilance officers to watch employees

Patna, Jan. 27: In an apparent bid to tighten its noose around corrupt bureaucrats, the Bihar government has decided to appoint a chief vigilance officer (CVO) in all the state departments.

At present, only four-five departments have sanctioned posts of CVOs, and most of those are lying vacant.

Principal secretary, vigilance, Ashok Kumar Chauhan said that the post of CVO in every government department is being created to keep surveillance on “unlawful activities” of the employees of the department concerned.

“Efforts are on to designate the senior officials of the department concerned as CVOs till the vacant posts are filled up,” he added.

In addition, the government has decided to set up flying squads comprising a deputy superintendent of police and additional district magistrate rank officials in every district. “Instructions have already been issued to all the district magistrates to set up flying squads in their respective areas. The members of the flying squad will be imparted specialised training on how to trap those involved in illegal activities,” Chauhan said.

He said the two anti-corruption wings of the state government — vigilance investigation bureau and special vigilance unit — were over burdened. “The creation of the posts of CVOs in all the departments will reduce their burden and enable them to concentrate on their prime job,” Chauhan said.

According to the vigilance sources, about 2000 complaints for preliminary inquiry are pending with the vigilance investigation bureau alone.

Altogether 394 trap cases have been registered since January 2006 in the state in which 484 persons have been arrested and forwarded to jail.

“The most important task before the investigating agency is to dispose of the pending cases and get the accused prosecuted in the court of law. The conviction rate in trap cases needs to be increased. The government is committed not to spare any corrupt public servant,” Chauhan said, adding ”checking corruption is on the top priority of the government.”

Though special courts have been set up for speedy trial of cases of property confiscation under the Bihar Special Courts Act, 2009, the government has also moved the Patna High Court to spare the judges posted in special vigilance courts of other assignments.

“At present, the judges posted in the special vigilance courts have to hear the cases lodged under different sections of the Indian Penal Code. As a result, the trial of the cases registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act is being delayed,” Chauhan said, adding accused in only 25 trap cases have been convicted between 2006 and 2010.

The process of confiscation of property of corrupt public servants has also started. Under the provisions of the new law, the trial would be completed within six months and the property will be confiscated by the government on the basis of the court verdict. At present, 18 cases of confiscation of property have been taken up in the six special courts in Patna, Muzaffarpur and Bhagalpur for speedy trial, the principal secretary said.

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