ACB already headed by Joint Commissioner: Govt.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs-sanctioned (MHA) posting of an outgoing Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police at the helm of the Delhi government’s anti-graft unit is likely to fall flat in face of legal scrutiny, informed sources claim.

According to service rule documents accessed by The Hindu, the Additional Commissioner of Police-level official, who was at the helm of the body, already occupied a post equivalent to that of a ‘regular Joint Commissioner of Police’ as per previous orders issued by the Ministry through the Lieutenant-Governor’s Office.

A senior Delhi government official said it was seeking legal opinion not only in relation to this fact, but also in light of the fact that appointment of a Joint Commissioner of the ACB was in contempt of a recent High Court judgment pertaining to jurisdiction and powers of prosecution of the anti-graft body.

“The Directorate of Vigilance, as per an order dated January 6, 1984, was created by merging the ACB and the Vigilance Branch of the Delhi Administration, with powers to receive complaints, inquiries and investigation under the direct control of the Deputy Commissioner of Police (ACB), who became de-facto chief of the Director (Vigilance),” said a source.

“As per an order issued by the L-G’s House on August 19, 1998, which was in supersession of the previous order, the L-G had appointed the Director (Vigilance) as ex-officio Joint Commissioner of Police, Delhi in relation to the superintendence and control over officers and officials of the ACB,” the source added.

Meanwhile, the appointment, according to the Delhi government, was in contempt of paragraph 44 of a recent judgment by Justice Vipin Sanghi of the Delhi High Court, while denying bail to a Delhi Police constable arrested by the ACB for accepting bribe.

“The judge had held that in his view, the GNCTD [Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi], acting through the ACB, had the executive power/authority to enforce criminal law, which includes the Prevention of Corruption Act within the NCT,” the official added.

Appointment of ACB Joint Commissioner in contempt of a recent High Court verdict pertaining to jurisdiction and powers of prosecution of the anti-graft body, says informed source

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2020 7:12:39 AM |

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