Pardeep Singh Bali
Already mired with plethora of complaints, the State Vigilance Commission (SVC) is also plagued with the problem of anonymous complaints, most of them hoax, which makes the work of commission sluggish towards genuine complaints.
According to sources within the department, the commission had been receiving anonymous complaints, majority of them hoax without any prior content, which not only puts commission to undue work, but also results in wastage of time.
“The commission is confronting anonymous complaints, which are mostly hoax, registered to take revenge, especially from the officer, who had at some moment of time denied favouring the complainant,” said sources, adding that the major reason in lengthy disposal off of complaints is time consumption in verifying these anonymous complaints,” they said.
Meanwhile, a senior SVC officer, wishing anonymity said that there should be check on the anonymous complaints, as it results into wastage of time. He said on the line of some states, the Jammu and Kashmir government must come up with a provision to bar anonymous complaints.
“On an average 3,000 anonymous complaints are received annually against officers alleging corruption without any evidence or verifiable facts. Any action on such complaints is not only a waste of time but also creates roadblocks for the officers named in the complaint and their vigilance clearance for promotion is held back,” he said adding that sometimes such complaints are made against officers at the time when they become due for promotion or retirement and appear to be motivated.
He acknowledged a trend showing surge of complaints alleging corruption against a senior government employees being considered for vigilance clearance by the Commission for promotion, empanelment and new posting. “These complaints are seen as a result of professional rivalry. Steps should be taken to standardize government process so that people may not resort to such means, which affect functioning of the commission,” officer asserted.
He further said that all the complaints are forwarded to three member commission, including chief vigilance commissioner, who sort out genuine complaints and in case of anonymous complaints, proper verification of the content is made. “The government must bring some provision to punish people, who file motivated complaints as it will make the commission more vigorous and disposal rate will be improved,” he said and advocated penal provisions for people who file “motivated and vexatious complaints” of corruption against government employees.
Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) Kuldeep Khoda, while talking to Newspoint said that they receive anonymous complaints, but the team ensures that no such complaint is forwarded which is without content. “There are complaints of alleged corruption, anonymous and pseudonymous, against an officer being considered for appointment or promotion. We cannot deny the registration of complaints, but action on complaints is taken only after verifiable facts are looked into,” Khoda said.
However, unsatisfied with the anonymous complaints, civil society has urged the CVC to entertain only those complaints, having proper address and the name of the complainant. They maintained that due to the personal rivalry and grudges, pseudo complaints are often made in the vigilance department and the energies are being wasted over such exercises which at the end of the day turn out to be mere hoax.