The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB), which has no legal backing, is a ‘caged parrot’, Chief Information Commissioner Sibi Mathews has said.

Addressing a seminar on ‘Governance and anti-corruption’ organised as part of the golden jubilee of the VACB here on Thursday, Mr. Mathews, a former DGP, said the bureau had no legal grounding and it was functioning on the strength of a government order. “The High Court too is aware of the situation. No one is interested in creating a legal backing for Vigilance. The Supreme Court observation about the CBI was applicable in the case of the Vigilance too,” he said.

Mr. Mathews said successive governments were not keen to eradicate corruption. An easy way to detect the corrupt was monitoring those who amassed wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income.

“This has not been done. Very few corruption cases reach courts and many are pending too. Finding a person guilty 15 years after registering a case does not make any sense. The government was bound to compensate for the person’s loss of time, trauma, and expenses. But there is no such law here.”

“At present there are two Vigilance courts. It has been proposed to set up two more. But this is no panacea. It is time to set up fast-track courts for the Vigilance,” Mr. Mathews said.

Officers were not keen on joining the Vigilance as they were not keen on incurring the hostility of anyone. Mr.Mathews had worked in the bureau for six years.

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