PCS officers up the ante against highhandedness of Vigilance; bureaucrats to proceed on mass casual leave
Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in
The General body of the Punjab PCS Officers’ Association met on 8th Jan 2023 to discuss the unfortunate turn of events wherein a PCS officer has been arrested illegally, wrongfully and arbitrarily and without due procedure on the basis of a mere statement of a private individual. Dr. Rajat Oberoi (President), Latif Ahmed (Sr. Advisor), Sukhpreet Sidhu (Sr. Vice President (legal)), Sakatar Singh Bal (Sr. Vice President), Avikesh Gupta (Sr. Vice President), Major Amit Sareen (Sr. Vice President), Amarjit S. Bains (Vice President), Pooja Syal (Vice President) and Dr. Ankur Mahindroo (General Secretary) were present amongst around 80 officers from across Punjab who attended the meeting.
The issue of the arrest of RTA Ludhiana who is also a PCS officer was discussed at length as was also a similar nature case of Tarsem Chand, another PCS officer. The Constitution of India upholds the rule of law which is available to every citizen of India and it was noted that in this case this right has been totally and unconstitutionally denied during the arrest of Narinder Dhaliwal. It was noted that under section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act, No police officer shall conduct enquiry or inquiry or investigation into any offence alleged to have been committed by a public servant under this Act, where the alleged offence is relatable to any decision taken by such public servant in discharge of his official function or duties without the previous approval of the competent authority who is the Chief Secretary in this case. The entire association was distraught with such unorderly conduct of the vigilance department wherein the Standard Operating Procedures under section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act have been blatantly violated.
PCS officers up the ante against highhandedness of Vigilance; bureaucrats to proceed on mass casual leave. The following decisions were taken during the meeting
- It was resolved that the PCS association is and will always be against corruption at any level and resolves to help government remove all corruption and even organized crime from the state. In fact the association resolved to put in extra efforts to gather facts and data related to such organized crime and provide details to the government so that action can be taken against the perpetrators.
- It was also resolved that all the PCS officers in the state shall proceed on mass casual leave for the coming week starting from 9th Jan 2023.
- It was resolved that the case of Tarsem Chand is still pending despite the clearcut report of a SIT that Tarsem Chand was framed by the officers of the vigilance department and these persons have been named in that report. That the Vigilance department has been sitting on that report and has not proceeded with taking any decision on that report while protecting those officials they have proceeded to file chargesheet against Tarsem Chand (khana no 2) also. That the government should immediately file FIR against and arrest the erring officials and private persons who conspired to frame Tarsem Chand and also completely exonerate him in accordance with the SIT report. The erring officials should also be dismissed from service.
- It was also resolved that in the case of Narinder Singh Dhaliwal, vigilance bureau has unconstitutionally and illegally arrested him on the mere videographic statement of a person who has an FIR lodged against him for blackmail (FIR no 0008 dt 18.1.2021 in Sadar Khanna). That he was not given his right under Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act as well as under the Constitution of India. That even as per letter No. 19/1/984V(1)/3900-4050 which provides for the SOP to be followed in case of vigilance matters. It states that when an officer of VB receives a certain information through informer/reliable source he shall transmit it to Secretary Vigilance and Chief Director Simultaneously. The information is to be presented before a committee constituted of Chief Secretary, Secretary Vigilance, Chief Director, VB, Legal Remembrancer and concerned Administrative Secretary who take a decision on the source report. It was noted that the vigilance bureau has done away with this procedure in order to create a nuisance for the official working within the government. It was resolved that the Government should constitute a high powered committee to investigate the current illegal arrest of Narinder Dhaliwal seeking its report by Friday the 13th of Jan. The committee should include senior IAS officers of principal secretary rank as well as a PCS officer and representatives of transport department.
- It was also resolved that a memorandum shall be submitted to the Chief Minister regarding these demands of the Association with a copy to Chief Secretary Principal Secretary Personnel, Secretary (Vigilance), Secretary (Transport). That a complaint against the illegality by vigilance bureau shall be submitted to the Police Complaint Authority for taking action against them in both cases.
- The association also expressed resentment over the lack interest of the government in addressing their long pending and genuine demands which have not been considered till date despite repeated petitions of the body at various levels.
- It was also resolved that further course of action shall be decided upon review of the situation on Saturday 14th Jan 2023.