1. Can VB take over the investigation of a corruption case registered by the State Police?
Yes, VB can take over the investigation of a corruption case registered by the District Police anywhere in the state.
2. Who exercises supervision over VB?
The superintendence of VB related to investigation of offences under the Prevention of corruption Act, 1988 lies with the Vigilance Department's Government of Punjab and in other matters with the Department of Personnel.
3. What types of Crime VB investigate today?
VB has grown into a multidisciplinary investigation agency over a period of time. Today it has the following divisions for investigation of crime :-
- Anti-Corruption Wing - for investigation of cases under the prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against public officials and the employees of state Government, Public Sector Undertakings, Corporations or Bodies owned or controlled by the Government of Punjab- it is the largest division having presence almost in all the districts of state.
- Economic Offences Wing - for investigation of major financial scams and serious economic frauds.
4. Can you post some general guidance for approaching VB for registration of crime?
VB is a specialized agency meant for investigation of crime relating to Corruption by Public Servants under the control of the state Government and serious economic offences and frauds.
As far as crime of corruption by Public Servants of the state Government is concerned, an individual can approach any anti-corruption branch of VB nearest to him, anywhere in the state. VB has such branches in all the districts and cities.
The details of VB branches together with their territorial jurisdiction are posted on this website at VB Police Stations.
5. Is it necessary for a person to physically approach a branch of VB for providing information /complaint?
No, VB can be approached by also sending the information/complaint by post, by SMS from a mobile phone, by making a phone call to the concerned Branch, by sending e mails to its officers given at Contact Us and by posting the information/complaint on this website by using Online Complaints facility.
6. How does VB handle oral information and informants against corruption and serious crime?
A large part of crime unearthed by VB of corruption and serious offences are based on oral information provided by individuals in confidence. VB has a very well laid down policy of handling such information and informants, which is followed scrupulously. The informant is 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 informant is never put in writing in any record. It is not even disclosed to the courts. Courts also do not have powers to compel VB to disclose the identity of the informant.
No action is initiated by VB 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.
7. What is a ‘trap’? We often read in newspapers that VB has caught a public servant in a trap.
VB lays great emphasis on catching corrupt public servants who demand and take bribes. The process of catching such corrupt public servants red handed while they demand and take bribes is popularly called the 'trap'. It is not a legal term. A set procedure has been devised in VB to lay a trap against a corrupt public servant. The evidence collected during the process of trap is placed before the court along with the charge sheet and is quite important in securing conviction of the public servant.
8. Who provides the money used for laying the trap?
The money has to be provided by the complainant and none else.
9. What happens to the money of the complainant provided for laying trap?
Such money is an important piece of evidence against the accused, to be used in the court during trial. It is seized by VB and put up in the court along with the charge sheet. After completion 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.
10. What is shadow witness in Trap case? Who has to arrange that?
Shadow witness is witness to the entire trap procedure. He accompanies the complainant and becomes witness to any demand for bribe made by the suspect public servant, acceptance of bribe by public servant and action by the VB team while catching the public servant red handed. The complainant has to arrange the shadow witness after verification by the VB team.
11. Will my work be done after trap gets successful?
In case the complainant feels that he is being victimized because of helping VB in trapping the corrupt public servant red handed then he can always approach the VB officers and/or the senior officers of the concerned department.
12. Can private persons or semi government officials be trapped?
Yes, private persons or semi government officials cab be trapped on complaint to the VB if they are demanding bribe on behalf of an public servant
13. What should an honest public servant do, when he is offered bribe by a person?
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 VB 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 giving bribe.
14. It is often heard, that public servants in higher positions don’t demand or take bribes directly but through the touts or middlemen. Does VB take action against such touts or middlemen also?
Yes, Sections 8 & 9 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 punish such touts/middlemen. On getting information/complaints against such touts/middlemen, VB lays trap against them with the help of the complainant or otherwise. Further VB 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.
VB requests the general public to provide information about such known touts/middlemen, who are active in many public offices of the Central Government. VB takes steps to verify such information at its own level and ensure action against such touts/middlemen even without a complainant.
15. We often see across ourselves corrupt public servants leading a lavish life style and having possessions much beyond their means. Can VB take action against such public servants?
Yes, 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. VB 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, VB 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.
16. Whether VB keeps the identity of the informant secret?
Please see the answer to question No. 6 above.
17. Does VB give cash reward to the informants?
No. There is no such policy in VB.
However, if a person provides information about an accused person wanted in a criminal case and on whom VB has announced some cash reward, the same is given to the informant if the accused has been caught on such information.
18. Is there an internal vigilance set up in VB?
Yes, VB has set up an internal vigilance set up for keeping watch over the conduct of its own personnel.
19. What is the conviction rate in criminal cases prosecuted by Vigilance Bureau?
The conviction rate is as high as 26 to 42%
20. Why does VB take so much time in investigation of cases?
VB 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 Foressic Laboratories and other experts such as Government Examiners of Questioned Documents (GEQDs). This often takes time. In addition to above, there is multi-layer supervision in VB. The evidence collected is analyzed threadbare both by executive officers and law officers at multiple levels. Because of all these factors, VB investigations often take time.
21. Does VB perform any other important function other than investigation of crime?
Yes, VB conducts surprise checking of various departments of government and ensure efficient public delivery systems. VB makes suggestions to the government regarding requisite policy and procedural reforms to prevent corruption. It also organizes awareness programs for prevention of corruption.
22. How can a person seek one to one meeting with the senior officers of VB if he/she is not satisfied with functioning of field officers of VB.
In this situation he/she can fix an appointment through phone. The list of contact numbers is already provided in Contact Us.
23. Is, there any provision to take action against false information providers?
Yes, proceeding under section 182 IPC can be initiated against the complainant if it is proved that he knowingly and intentionally furnished false information against any government public servant to the VB.
24. Can government employees keep private employees?
Private persons can only be employed in government offices by the written order/approval of the head of the department. Under no circumstances a government employee can keep private person for doing official work.
25. Is it correct that the complaints on corruption can be lodged with the Vigilance Bureau only?
No, these complaints can be lodged with the chief vigilance officer of the concerned department/organization or the head of the department/organization also. The list of vigilance officers is available on this website at List of CVO.
26. How can I help Vigilance Bureau if perceive any embezzlement in the public works done or being done?
You can go to local Vigilance Bureau Officer or can directly send a factual complaint to Vigilance Bureau Headquarters which is at SCO No.60-61, Sector-17-D, Chandigarh.
27. How does Vigilance Bureau access these embezzlements and disproportionate assets owned by any public servant?
Vigilance Bureau has its own Technical Team, Audit Branch and Economic Offence Wing for all this.
28. Can corrupt government servant be dismissed from government service?
Yes, government servant shall be dismissed from government service if allegation of corruption or criminal misconduct be proved against him.
29. What is the quantum of punishment for a corrupt public servant?
If proved a corrupt public servant caught red handed while taking bribe can be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall be not less then 6 month but which may extend to 5 years and shall also be liable to be fined. In addition to this any public servant who commits criminal misconduct under section 13 of Prevetion of Corruption Act 1988 can be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall be not less than one year but which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.
30. What is Fresh Complaint, Vigilance Enquiry and Vigilance case FIR?
Fresh complaint is, a newly received complaint containing allegations made in writing with a view to take action either under PC Act or any other law for the time being in force. On receiving the Fresh Complaint probe is started. It is a fact finding tool.
Vigilance Enquiry means and includes all the proceedings initiated for the collection of evidence relating to the allegations made in writing with a view to take action either under PC Act or any other law for the time being in force. This is a pin-pointing tool. The Vigilance Enquiry is required to be completed within a period of three months except in special circumstances to be recorded in writing well before the expiry of three months.
Vigilance case FIR:
On completion of the enquiries into the allegations contained either in Fresh Complaint or Vigilance Enquiry or otherwise, wherein such allegation prima-facie discloses the commission of offence or offences to the SHO of Police Station Vigilance Bureau punishable under PC Act or any other act, FIR is registered on the basis of which investigation commences.