State Vigilance Commission, West Bengal.

The Government of West Bengal, by a resolution No. 221 GAC dated the 4th March, 1965 set up a Vigilance Commission to be headed by the Vigilance Commissioner, West Bengal. The Commission will be attached to the Home Deptt but in the exercise of its powers, it will not be subordinate to any department andwill have the same measure of independence and autonomy as the Public Service Commission, W. B.

The main task of this Commission 

  • (i) Prevention of Corruption and maintenance of integrity in the public services
  • (ii) Ensuring just and fair exercise of administrative powers vested in various authorities by the statutory rules or by non-statutory executive orders.

The subsequent Resolution No. 1/PAR (Vig.) dated 10th January 2012 renamed the West Bengal Vigilance Commission as State Vigilance Commission, West Bengal. The Commission has jurisdiction and powers in respect of matters in which the executive powers of the State of West Bengal extends. The State Vigilance Commission is attached to the P & A R Department for administrative purposes. However, in the exercise of its powers and functions it is not subordinate to any department of the State Government.

The jurisdiction of the Commission is over all the Government servants in the service or pay of the State Government with the exception of the following:

 

  • (a) Persons paid at daily rate.
  • (b) Officers belonging to the judicial services who are under the administrative control of the High Court.
  • (c)The employees attached to the offices of such Judicial Officers.

 

Cases, which come under the purview of the Vigilance Commissioner:

  1. To undertake an enquiry into any transaction in which a public servants is suspected or alleged to have acted foe an improper purpose or in a corrupt manner;
    ii. To cause an enquiry or investigation to be made into—
    (a) Any complaint that a public servant had exercised or refrained from exercising his powers for improper or corrupt purpose.
    (b) Any complaint of corruption, misconduct, lack of integrity or other kinds of
    malpractices or misdemeanor on the part of public servant, including members of the
    Al! India Services serving in connection with the affairs of the State Government.

2. The Vigilance Commission is not therefore concerned with allegations or complaints of any other types, e.g., insubordination, breach of discipline, negligence of duties, etc. not involving corruption. Allegations of these other types should be enquired into and disposed of departmental and should not be referred to the Vigilance Commission at any stage.

3. Where the Departments, Directorates, Heads of Offices have reasonable suspicion about the integrity of some public servants, the disciplinary authority should first make a preliminary verification with reference to its own records and if there is any basis for the complaint, allegation or suspicion, then only the matter should be reported to the Vigilance Commission with a self-contained precise and all the relevant documents for investigation and/or advice as to the further action to be taken.

Jurisdiction and Complaints regarding corporate State Undertakings

The powers and jurisdiction of the Vigilance Commission also extends to corporate State
Undertakings.

Investigation and Enquiry ;

There are two phases in each case ending in departmental proceedings viz., “investigation” and “Enquiry”.

The “Investigation” starts on receipt of a complaint about corruption. If the Vigilance Commission considers that the complaint or information is sufficiently specific and verifiable, it asks the Anti-corruption Bureau or some other agency (including the department to which the Public Servant belongs) to make investigation confidentially and to submit a preliminary report to the Commission for advice as to further action. The department itself may also initiate such an investigation suo-motu and forward the report to the Vigilance Commission for perusal and advice as to further action.

If the Vigilance Commissioner is of opinion that there is a prima facie  case for further investigation by way of examination of the public servant concerned and of the records etc., of the department with the knowledge of the head of the department then the Vigilance Commission orders what is known an “Open investigation” which is
actually the second stage— of the first phase, viz.

The process of preliminary investigation.

At this stage, the officer concerned is invariably given his first opportunity to explain informally the allegations against him. If he can satisfactorily explain his conduct, the matter is dropped and the head of the department is informed accordingly. if he is unable to do that, then only the case enter the second phase, i.e. the formal enquiry.

 After examination of the report of the preliminary investigation, the Commission
advises the Government or the disciplinary authority of the Public Servant complained
against as to the suitable action to be taken. The action may include drawing up of
departmental proceedings or the filing of a case in Criminal Court or recommendation
for compulsory retirement under Rule 75(aa) of WBSR-I.

When a departmental proceeding is advised, the Commission drafts the specific charges and in the case of Group A Officers (erstwhile Gazetted Officers), invariably nominates a
Commissioner for departmental enquiries attached to its organization for holding the
formal oral enquiry.

Classification of Cases in which consulting Vigilance Commission is obligatory:

(1) Demand and/or acceptance of illegal gratification.
(2) Misappropriation of Government money and property.
(3) Breach of trust in respect of public fund.
(4) Forgery or falsification of document for getting undue advantage for self or
somebody else.
(5) Showing false expenditure of Government money with improper motive
(6) Incurring unnecessary Government expenditure with the motive of giving undue
benefit to others.
(7) Possession of assets disproportionate to known sources of income.
(8) Drawing of false traveling allowance, daily allowance, house rent allowances
etc.
(9) Private trade, business or employment, speculation and investment, promotion
and management of companies.
(10) Non-declaration or suppression of assets or submission of false, incorrect or
misleading assets statement
(11) Commission to report to the Appointing Authority about acceptance of gifts.
(12) Financial impropriety, lack of supervision, negligence of duty, arbitrator/action
etc. resulting in loss of Government money or facilitating corruption.
(13) Unauthorised raising of Subscription.
(14) Unauthorised lending and borrowing.
(15) Unauthorised obtaining of patents.
(16) Abuse of power or authority for deriving improper gain for self, relatives, friends,
etc.

Vigilance Officers 

In the districts, normally the District Magistrate himself functions as the District Vigilance Officer unless for special reasons he prefers to delegate his powers and responsibilities to some other senior officer, serving in the Genera! Administration in the District headquarters. In each Department/ Directorate /Corporate State Undertakings an officer of or corresponding EO the rank of Deputy Secretary is designated as the Vigilance Officer. The Vigilance Officers are responsible to co-ordinate work relating to vigilance in the Department and also with the Vigilance Commissioner.

Complaint

Complaints of allegations received anonymously or pseudonymously should not be rejected as a matter or course.

Miscellaneous 

  1. Vigilance Commission is a purely advisory body.
  2. A complaint concerns a Gazetted Officer, the report of the preliminary enquiry should be sent to the Vigilance Commission
  3. All cases of confirmation in Superior-Service, promotion to higher post (except under Career Advancement Scheme) involving exercise of greater discretionary powers, deputation to foreign service, selection for training abroad, foreign travel, re-employment, extension in service, the Vigilance Commission shall have to. be consulted for assessing the integrity of the officer concerned. For sanction of pension and retirement benefits, the Commission may also be consulted, if considered necessary.

Contact

State Vigilance Commission, WB

Bikash Bhawan , 1st,2nd & 3rd Floor

DF- Block, Sector-I Salt Lake city

Kolkata-700091

TEL : 2334-0507,2334-0508,2334-0509,2337-7910[ Number may be canged]