Leader Writer: Sukham Nanda
The State Vigilance Commission, Manipur was set up with an objectives to ensure partial and clean administrations in every departments of the state. Its scope however extend to matters within the executive jurisdiction of the State Government, investigation and enquiries into corruption and misconduct of public servants as laid in the Resolution for setting up the Vigilance Commission.
The responsibility of Vigilance rests primarily on the department concerned. It is for the heads of the department to identify corrupt element in their organizations and deal with them firmly, besides to assist the head of departments to identify corrupt element, a Vigilance unit each headed by an ex-Officio Vigilance officer at the Secretariat and Head of department level had set up in every Government office with the recommendation of the State Vigilance Commission to ensure that employee maintains utmost honesty and integrity and to identify corrupt elements in the department, to keep a watch on the activities of the employees suspected of corruption, malpractice or misconduct and also to initiate prompt action and persue all cases, where there are reasonable ground for suspicion or where corrupt, malpractice or misconduct exists.
In fact, the role of the Commission undertakes general check and supervision over all vigilance and anti-corruption works in the state. It causes investigation to be made into any act of the public servant involving corruption, lack of integrity, misdemeanour, misconduct or malpractice. On receipt of the investigation report and after examination, the Commission advises the disciplinary authorities about the type of proceedings, if any, to be initiated. In the cases where the Commissioner, Departmental Enquiries is appointed as Inquiry Officer by the state government, the report are submitted to the Village Commissioner. The Commission also advises the government whenever and wherever necessary about improvement in procedures and practices.
No error has seen in framing the rules regulations of the commission and commission on the other hand taken up multiple numbers of cases as it has been witnessed during this last few years that some improvement in response of the Administrative Department to reference from the Commission and departments have to play a more effective role in starting departmental enquiries on the recommendations of the commission, and in ensuring that the departmental enquiries are completed deditiously and guilty officials need to be punished promptly.
Officially or unofficially it has known that the normal functioning of the state Vigilance Commission in terms of case hearing involving high ranking officers of the department were quite oftenly interfere in the forms of directions / commands from the external elements and even from the ministers and MLA, which causes delaying in the disposal of the case or kept the case pending for more than four five years.
Even though there is State Vigilance department to investigate the cases related to the corruptions and malpractices etc. in very government departments of the state and the Commission is there to conduct enquires of the reported cases but the increasing trends of corruptions, malpractices, lack of integrity and misconducts in various major government departments are still witnessed. This shows that no practice prevalent for surprise check on offices, on works undertaken except by the Audit and it is felt that the government should introduce an effective system of annual inspection to detect long pending cases, as also to find out malpractices, exercise or non-exercise of power for improper or corrupt purposes etc.so that the importance of the existence of state Vigilance department and constitution of the state Vigilance Commission could be achieved in the state.
Thus it is very much require to strengthen the powers and functions of state Vigilance Department by deputing adequate manpower and letting the state Vigilance Commission to conduct its enquiries independently by preventing back-door interferences from the outside elements so that the objective of maintaining partial and clean administrations in every government departments could be restored to some extend in future to come.