Says shortcomings will be rectified once Lok Pal becomes a reality

The government will take steps to strengthen Lok Ayukta once the Lok Pal becomes a reality, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said.

Inaugurating the year-long golden jubilee of the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) here on Thursday, Mr.Chandy said at present the Lok Ayukta had only an advisory role. Its shortcomings would be rectified once the Lok Pal became a reality.

“Corruption is a hotly debated national issue. For, a major loss to the exchequer means severe credibility erosion of the government. Democracy rests on the confidence of the people in the government. Corruption and nepotism will drive a government away from the people. Transparency in governance is imperative. The VACB has played a major role in ensuring transparency in governance,” he said.

Awareness programmes

Referring to awareness programmes planned as part of the celebrations, Mr.Chandy said the government would give due legal support, make legal amendments, if needed, for strengthening the functioning of the bureau.

Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, in his presidential address, said that about 1,300 Vigilance cases were pending and only 40 cases were being disposed of in a year.

It was in this context that a decision was made to classify old and new cases. Steps should be taken to dispose of the old cases immediately. If not, innocent persons got caught in the cases would have to lead a traumatic career till retirement, he said.

VACB Director Mahesh Kumar Singla, in his introductory remarks, said the bureau should have a technology wing comprising personnel from all departments to handle different cases. Officials drawn from various departments should be posted at the VACB headquarters on deputation. An officer of the SP rank should be posted for maintaining vigil on the functioning of all departments.

A better coordination of Vigilance officials of all departments and organisations with the bureau was imperative. A system should be evolved for reporting all big government purchases to the bureau, he said.

D.Sreelekha, ADGP, Vigilance, welcomed the gathering. Chief Secretary E.K. Bharat Bhushan delivered the keynote address.

Home Secretary L.Radhakrishnan and State Police Chief K.S. Balasubramanian offered felicitation. H.Venkitesh, DIG, Vigilance, proposed a vote of thanks.

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