Aiming to weed out corruption from the society, the Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) has started a new initiative to attach the properties of offenders under which properties to the tune of Rs 101,64,82,194/- was attached during the year 2019.Disclosing this VB Chief Director-cum-ADGP, B.K. Uppal said the VB has taken the bold initiative to attach the ill gotten properties of accused during the period in four different cases. "To corner the bribe seekers and to generate awareness among the public with a resolute stand to curb this social malady the bureau has launched multi-pronged approach", he added.In order to check corruption in engineering and development projects, he said the Bureau has launched a ‘Social Audit Scheme’ to reveal detail information of projects to the public. Under this Scheme, ‘Citizen Information Boards’ would be installed by the Chief Vigilance Officers of the respective departments under which information about the projects will be written in English and Punjabi thereby people could also made their contribution in curbing malpractices.Giving more details BK Uppal informed that VB has been able to nab 147 officials of different departments and 18 private persons while accepting bribes in 129 trap cases during last year. Adopting a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of corruption, Bureau had nabbed 13 gazetted officers (GOs) and 134 non-gazetted officials (NGOs) since January 1 to December 31, 2019.VB Chief revealed that during the year, apart from other departments, 63 personnel of Punjab Police, 28 of Revenue Department, 13 of Power, 3 of Panchayats and Rural Development, 7 of Health department, 6 of Local Bodies and 3 of Food & Civil Supply department, 4 of Excise and Taxation and 5 of Water Supply and Sanitation were nabbed red handed while demanding and accepting bribes in different cases.
Giving details of prominent cases BK Uppal informed that Forest Conservator Harsh Kumar and Ajay Palta, Director, Palta Engineering Works, AETC-cum-Assistant Commissioner Harmeet Singh, ETO Amardeep Singh Nanda, Estate Officer Ali Hasan, Inspector Excise Deepdedar Singh, Executive Engineer of PWD Ajit Pal Singh Brar, Agriculture Development Officer Jaskanwal Singh , District Health Officer Dr. Lakhbeer Singh and Dr. Raj Kumar were arrested during the year. Elaborating the performance of Bureau he added that VB had registered 27 criminal cases against 57 accused during the last year which include 7 GOs, 24 NGOs and 26 private persons. Apart from this, 42 Vigilance Enquires have also been registered to probe corruption complaints against 13 GOs, 22 NGOs and 6 private persons. Besides, 3 cases of disproportionate assets were also registered against one Gazetted Officer and 2 Non Gazetted Officers.VB chief further added that 6 NGOs have been dismissed from their services by their respective administrative departments due to conviction in various courts in different corruption cases. He informed that the Bureau had been able to conclude 50 vigilance enquiries during the year. Besides this, Vigilance Bureau has also issued directions/suggestions to various departments for identifying the methods of corruption.Sharing details, BK Uppal said various special courts have sentenced 42 accused in 29 cases under prevention of corruption act which includes 5 GOs, 31 NGOs and 6 private persons and awarded imprisonment ranging from six months to seven years. The trial courts have also imposed fine varying from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 2,30,000 in these cases amounting to Rs. 14,96,500, he added. During the Vigilance Awareness Week, VB has successfully launched a campaign in which seminars and public meeting were held in urban as well as in rural areas to weed corruption from the society. Besides, integrity pledge was also administered to all the officers and employees of the bureau. Apart from this, VB has presented appreciation letters to 24 whistleblowers including 2 students," he added.