ANTI-CORRUPTION WORK

Handling of Corruption: Corruption is being handled from two aspects, preventive and detective. Detection of specific instances of corruption is made possible through complaints from victims, source information, study of income tax returns, immovable property returns and reports of wealth tax, gift tax and indirect taxes. Every organisation is subjected to internal audit as well as statutory audit. Such audit reports throw up cases of corruption. Constitutional bodies such as the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India and Legislative Committees such as Estimates Committee, Public Accounts Committee and the Committee on Public Undertakings take up review from time to time on the performance of each department/public sector undertaking and go into the aspect of propriety in all transactions. Scrutiny of these reports also leads to initiation of corruption cases. The following are the anti-corruption works done by the DVAC.

Traps: It is a very effective tool in the fight against corruption, at the cutting edge level of the Administration because it has an immediate telling effect not only on the corrupt Public Servant involved in the matter but also acts as a deterrent for others. On receipt of a specific complaint that a particular Public Servant is demanding bribe for doing or omitting to do his official duties and the same is about to be paid, a trap is organized to catch him red handed. After verifying the genuineness of the complainant and the antecedents of the Public Servant complained against, the DVAC officials in the presence of independent witnesses organize a trap. Once the trap materializes, the Public Servant is arrested and criminal proceedings are initiated against him. Significantly, the law gives immunity to the complainant, who participates in the trap, wherein he is required to hand over the demanded money or any other material gratification/obligation to the suspect officer, on the direction of the Investigating Officer of the DVAC.

Disproportionate Assets/ Criminal Misconduct: Corruption being collusive in nature, not many people come forward to lodge complaint of specific demands by public servants. The only alternative way to bring such public servants to book is to investigate into their assets. This is mostly used against senior officers. It is difficult to trap them because they don’t take money directly. On the other hand, they invest the ill-gotten money in movable and immovable properties, which are easy to identify. In this method a public servant is targeted on the basis of his general reputation for lack of integrity. In the investigation, evidence is collected on a suspected public servant’s assets, income earned and expenditure incurred to arrive at assets disproportionate to known sources of income. In grave cases, the properties are attached to the Government through court orders. There is also provision for confiscation of disproportionate assets after successful prosecution. 

Abuse of Authority / Criminal Misconduct: Corruption is also unearthed by probing into instances of abuse of authority by a public servant. It is ascertained whether such abuse was committed with a view to causing pecuniary gain to himself or any one else and corresponding loss to the Government. Material for such probe is collected from files relating to award of contracts, supply orders, purchase orders, etc. Instances where the lower bids were rejected without valid reasons, where knowingly substandard material is accepted, where tax is evaded by private persons/corporate houses with the connivance of tax enforcement officials, etc., usually come under the orbit of such investigation. Once the scrutiny of the file disclosed prima facie abuse of authority coupled with pecuniary gain to an individual and corresponding loss to the Government, regular investigation is launched to cover the public servants and private individuals involved. 

 While for traps, a complainant is necessary, cases of disproportionate assets and abuse of authority/criminal misconduct can be initiated on the basis of source information as well.