Haryana vigilance bureau booked record number of cases, arrested 193 govt officials last year

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Haryana’s State Vigilance Bureau registered 246 corruption cases in 2022, the highest annual figure in the past 10 years, according to its director-general, Shatrujeet Kapur.

“The bureau conducted 170 raids in 2022 and recovered Rs 6,21,70,230 on the spot and after searching the properties of the accused people who were raided. A total of 193 government servants including 27 gazetted officers as well as 27 private individuals were arrested in these cases,” Kapur told the media on Wednesday.

Of the 246 cases, 170 were “trap cases”, in which people were caught red-handed. And the rest were registered on the basis of inquiries or special checking, Kapur said. “On average, 18 public servants were arrested on corruption charges every month,” he said.

“The vigilance bureau has shifted its focus from junior-level staff like clerks, patwaris, linemen, police personnel etc to senior officials, who are often the kingpins in running organised corruption rackets. The remarkable spurt in the number of raids and arrests of senior government officials is being seen as a clean-up act by the bureau under the directives of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar as a part of his zero-tolerance policy towards rooting out corruption at all levels,” Kapur said.

Khattar last year approved various initiatives of the bureau, including the setting up of a revolving fund to provide “trap money” to people lodging complaints against government officials who demand bribes. “With this, complainants will no longer have to worry about arranging the trap money from their own pockets,” the bureau’s chief said.

The government had also sanctioned 809 additional posts for strengthening of the bureau, changed the system of appointment of independent witnesses to check the leakage of information and also created six divisional vigilance bureaus. “Rs 100 crore have been allocated to strengthen vigilance- related initiatives in 2023-2024,” Kapur said.

Highlighting the arrests of some high-ranking officials, Kapur said that one district town planner was caught red-handed taking a Rs 5 lakh bribe and a co-accused tehsildar was also arrested, while a deputy excise and taxation commissioner was caught taking a Rs 50,000 bribe. A jail superintendent was arrested in another trap case.

“Apart from these, five HCS officers were arrested on corruption charges. Two chief engineers, one superintending engineer and one executive engineer, a chief accounts officer and one joint director of the urban local bodies department were arrested for siphoning off public funds.

Also among the officials caught on the take last year were a superintending engineer and an accountant of a municipal corporation, two executive engineers of the Haryana State Agriculture Marketing Board and Irrigation Department, two subdivisional officers of the power department, a mining officer, a building inspector and a taxation inspector, Kapur said, adding that 46 police personnel were arrested in different cases.

“Fully functional vigilance offices have been made operational in each district. We are also preparing to launch a big crackdown on corrupt officials by attaching their ill-gotten property in 2023,” Kapur said.

People should report complaints of bribery on the bureau’s toll-free numbers, 1800-180-2022 and 1064, and WhatsApp number 094178-91064, he said.



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