Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

In 1964, on the recommendation of Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption, an independent Vigilance Commission set up by Central Government. Similar Vigilance Commissions on the Central Model were subsequently set up in most of the States. Accordingly, the Government of Tamil Nadu set up the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Department on 26th March, 1964.
With regard to matters relating to investigation / enquiries, DVAC comes under the control of Vigilance Commission, Chennai. With regard to administrative matters, it comes under the control of Personnel and Administrative Reforms Department of Government of Tamil Nadu.
1. Laying of Traps.
2. Conducting Surprise Checks in Government Offices.
3. Initiating Vigilance Reports on corrupt practices on Government Servants.
4. Keeping close watch on Huge Projects of Government exceeding 10 Lakhs.
5. Conducting.
(i) Preliminary Enquiry. (ii) Detailed Enquiry. (iii) Regular Case - Registration of FIR & Investigation.
DVAC performs its functions as per the "Manual of DVAC, Tamil Nadu" and the PC Act 1988 and amended in 2018.
DVAC is registering cases / enquiries,
(i) On the direction of Court;
(ii) On the orders of Vigilance Commissioner, Chennai / Government of Tamil Nadu;
(iii) On petition;
(iv) On source reports and
(v) On surprise checks.
All Public Servants connected with the affairs of the State Government including the elected public servants and also employees of Public Undertakings and Corporations set up by the State Government, Chairpersons of Municipal Corporations, Vice Chancellors of Universities within the State etc., who are public servants as per Sec 2(c) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Private persons, abetting the offences of corruption committed by public servants could also be brought within the ambit of action by the DVAC.
Trap is a procedure by which a Government employee/public servant is caught by DVAC, while accepting bribe from the complainant. The money used in laying the trap is to be provided by the complainant.
DVAC lays great emphasis on catching corrupt public servants who demand and take bribes. The process of catching such corrupt public servants red handed while the demand and take bribe is popularly called the trap. It is not a legal term. The evidence collected during the process of trap is placed before the court along with the charge sheet in securing conviction of the public servant.
The money has to be provided by the complainant and none else.
Such money is an important piece of evidence against the accused, to be used in the court during trial. It is seized by the DVAC and put up before the Court along with the Charge Sheet. After conviction of trial, court orders return of the money to the complainant. The money is, therefore, eventually returned to the complainant after completion of the trial.

However, keeping in view the hardships, which may be faced by the complainant because of the deposition of the money in the court, DVAC has devised a procedure for refunding an equivalent amount of money to the complainant after he/she fared well before the Trial Court. This is done in genuine cases after observing certain formalities of getting an agreement from the complainant. The tainted bribe money is then deposited in the public exchequer on conclusion of trial.
Yes, it is. DVAC does not entertain anonymous /pseudonymous information / complaint. Having said this, the informant / complainant can however, always request to keep their identity secret. DVAC takes all the necessary care to ensure that identity of such persons is kept secret.
DVAC is under the supervision of the Vigilance Commission, Chennai. Only on the concurrence / permission of the Vigilance Commission, Chennai/ Government of Tamil Nadu and on the direction of Court, DVAC can take up investigation of the cases under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and as amended in 2018 and Indian Penal code.
DVAC investigate cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and as amended in 2018 against the Public Servants and employees of State Government, Public Sector undertakings, Corporations, Local Bodies owned or controlled by the State Government. It also investigate offences under Indian Penal Code.
Yes. DVAC has a very strong internal vigilance set up for keeping watch over the conduct of its own personnel. In DVAC, there is zero tolerance about issues of integrity of its personnel. This can be gauged from the fact that the Directorate does not hesitate in registering criminal cases against its own personnel when there are instances of corruption by them.
If any public servant amasses wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income, the case is called a disproportionate assets case.
Most certainly. Possession of assets and incurring expenditure, which are beyond the known source of income of a public servant, is punishable under section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. DVAC requests the citizens to provide specific details about assets and expenditure of such public servants. Providing general and vague information, however, does not help. Upon receiving such specific details, DVAC conducts discreet verification of the same and conducts raids at the premises of such public servants after registration of a criminal case, if the information is found as correct.
If any public servant by misusing his official position causes loss to the Government Exchequer this act of pubic servant is called criminal misconduct, against whom legal action will be taken by registering a case.
Most certainly. Sections 8 & 9 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 punish such touts / middlemen. On getting information/complaints against such touts/middlemen, DVAC lays trap against them with the help of the complainant or otherwise. Further DVAC attempts to gather evidence against the concerned public servant also on whose behalf the touts/middlemen are active. Such a public servant is also punishable under section 10 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

DVAC requests the general public to provide information about such known touts/middlemen, who are active in many public offices of the State Government. DVAC takes steps to verify such information at its own level and ensure action against such touts/middlemen even without a complainant.
General public can approach the DVAC detachments located in Districts, through petition, e.mail or in person.
A large part of crime of corruption unearthed by DVAC and serious offences are based on oral information provided by individuals in confidence. DVAC has a very well laid down policy of handling such information and informants, which is followed scrupulously. The informants are only handled by the officer to whom the information has been provided. Disclosure of the identity of the informant cannot be demanded even by the senior officers of the officer to whom the information has been provided. The identity of such informants is never in writing in any record. It is not even disclosed to the courts. Courts also do not have powers to compel DVAC to disclose the identity of the informant.

No action is initiated by DVAC on such information without subjecting them to discreet verification while taking care that the secrecy of the information is not leaked, such information is put to detailed verification. It is only after ensuring that a prima facie criminal case is made out, a criminal case is registered and further action taken.
Certainly bribe giving is also an offence as per section 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, but only when it is given voluntarily. The law however, protects such persons who complaint to the law enforcement agencies soon after demand of bribe by a public servant, even if they had agreed to the demand. Section 24 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 provides such protection and acts of the complainant during the process of laying of trap. No action can, therefore, be taken against complaints in such matters.
As mentioned in answer to Question No.20, voluntarily giving or offering bribe is also a punishable offence under section 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. In such a case the honest public servant should inform DVAC as soon as such an offer is made by a person. In fact such a bribe giver can also be caught red handed by laying a trap on the complaint of the honest public servant.
The honest public servant shall, therefore, take steps to get such persons punished, rather than ignoring or just reprimanding them. This will deter the unscrupulous elements from bribe giving.
DVAC conducts investigations in the most professional manner. It lays great emphasis in use of science and technology during investigations. It requires evaluation of evidence by Forensic Laboratories. This often takes time

In addition to above, there is multi-layer supervision in DVAC. The evidence collected is analyzed threadbare both by executive officers and law officers at multiple levels. Because of all these factors, DVAC investigations often take time.

Having said this, it is important to clarify that investigation of trap cases are generally finished within a period of six weeks. Of late, a great emphasis is being laid in DVAC to complete investigations at the earliest. It has been decided that investigation shall be completed within a period of six months.
DVAC can be approached by sending information / complaint by post (or) e.mail (or) in person.
DVAC investigate offences under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and Indian Penal code.
Yes, there have been such cases. If DVAC receives information about a willing bribe giver and bribe taker from any genuine source before the bribe is actually handed over, it verifies such information and lays a trap to catch both the bribe giver and bribe taker red handed.
If the general public approach DVAC with written complaint on the allegation of corruption against Government officials, with specific evidence, DVAC will take necessary action on the complaint.
No. There is no such policy in DVAC. No cash reward is given to a person who provides information about a crime as mentioned in the answer to Question No.19 above.

However, if a person provides information about an accused person wanted in a criminal case and on whom DVAC has announced some cash reward, the same is given to the informant if the accused has been caught on such information.
Certainly not. Action can be taken in such situation also. As per section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, sheer demand of the bribe is a punishable offence. That is to say that acceptance of bribe is not a mandatory requirement to prosecute a public servant. If it can be proved in the court by way of collection of evidence that the public servant had demanded bribe for an official act, the public servant can be convicted.

Laying of trap is just a means of collection of evidence to prove the guilt. It is preferred because it facilitates collection of good evidence and makes a case full proof. In the absence of trap, it is difficult to collect evidence of demand of bribe. It, however, does not mean that laying of trap is mandatory and nothing can be done in the absence of a trap.
On receipt of credible information about the irregularities or corrupt activities, in any Government office, DVAC conducts a Surprise Check.
The Senior Officers and Investigating Officers are being got posted on transfer from Police Department. The ministerial staff are recruited by TNPSC / Employment and Training Department / posted from Police Department or posted on Compassionate grounds. The Law Officers are being deputed from the Prosecution Department.
The Non-IPS officers and the staff of Confidential Branch of DVAC are getting 7.5% of Special Pay on the Basic Pay (of the individual) and IPS officers of DVAC are getting 7.5% of Special Incentive Allowance on the Basic Pay (of the individual).