Punjab Cabinet nod to setting up Vigilance Commission

Chandigarh: The Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposal to set up a multi-member state Vigilance Commission for more transparency and to check corruption among public servants.

The proposal is in line with the vision of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who had steered the move for a similar commission in 2006 which was later scrapped by the Akalis when they returned to power in 2007.

Amarinder Singh has also been empowered to make any changes to the ordinance once drafted by the Legal and Legislative Affairs Department to ensure creation of a foolproof mechanism.

The Punjab State Vigilance Commission will be empowered to give directions to the Vigilance Bureau for discharge of its responsibilities. The panel will also review the progress of Vigilance Bureau investigations and the prosecution sanction cases pending with different departments.

The proposed commission will tender advice to state departments regarding investigations in vigilance matters.

It will also be empowered to inquire or cause an inquiry or investigation to be made in respect of allegations made under the Prevention of Corruption Act and other relevant laws against public servants.

Giving details after the Cabinet meeting, a government spokesperson said that the proposed commission will be headed by the Chief Vigilance Commissioner, to be appointed from among serving/retired Judges of High Court or officers in the rank and payscale of Secretary to the government of India. Two Vigilance Commissioners will also be appointed. The panel will be appointed for a term of five years.

These appointments will be made on the recommendations of a committee chaired by the Chief Minister, with the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker and the seniormost Minister as members.

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