From October 21 to November 6, the administration has announced to celebrate Vigilance Awareness Week along with the rest of the country with the theme “Corruption free India for a developed Nation”.
The focus areas of the celebrations is preventive vigilance cum internal housekeeping activities and increasing public awareness about the perils of corruption inculcating the true spirit of participative vigilance and conducting Special Clearance Campaign for disposal of outstanding vigilance matters.
The administration says a detailed programme of events has been planned by the Central Vigilance Commission, New Delhi, which amongst other things includes taking of integrity pledge, sensitizing employees/public about corruption and allied issues through workshops for dissemination of information regarding menace of corruption and different measures that the public can undertake to redress it.
The Chief Secretary will administer an integrity pledge to all Administrative Secretaries and officers of various Departments at 11:00 a.m. on October 31. The steps are welcome. It will basically raise awareness as regards perils of corruption which unfortunately continues to be a challenge, notwithstanding promises made from time to time to eradicate the menace. Beyond doubt, corruption eats into the innards of a nation and is a debilitating social cancer which spares no one. There are numerous reasons, some of them well documented, as to why corruption flourishes. However, failure by some key institutions particularly the police and judiciary to bring to a close case plays an important part.
As per official data, there are FIRs starting from late 1990s onwards under the Prevention of Corruption Act, where charge-sheet have not been presented till date. The allegations are of forgery, bribery, misuse of government money, fictitious withdrawals from the treasury, embezzlement of government money, disbursement of loans without proper documents, allotment of works without tendering process, possession of assets disproportionate to known sources of income, fabrication or fictitious bills for the purchases, etc. The allegations of corruption there are allegations under provisions of penal code also in most of the FIRs.
Many of the accused named in the FIRs are government officials. They may be either under suspension or may be getting all benefits despite pendency of criminal cases against them.
There are timelines provided in legislations for the presentation of the charge sheet, otherwise, an accused is entitled to default bail. Any delay by the Investigating Agency in not completing investigation of the cases registered is seriously impacting the justice delivery system as the guilty are not being brought to court for trial even after decades of registration of cases against them.