Vigilance wilts under incisive queries
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 12: The State Vigilance Commission found itself in an awkward position with Opposition MLA O Joy raising a number of uncomfortable questions during the last day of the Monsoon session yesterday.

Taking part in the annual discussion of the State Vigilance Commission, 2002-03, the Opposition MLA asked whether the Vigilance Commission is a legal body or not and topped that up with a, "Where is the authority vested with this Commission?" Admitting that the annual report looks impressive, Joy nevertheless observed that there is no perceptible authority vested with the Commission and to make it more effective more authority needs to be given to the Commission.

Tearing apart the composition of the Commission, Joy derisively said that though the Commission is supposed to be headed either by a sitting Judge or a retired Judge, it is being headed by the Chief Secretary.

He pointedly asked, "Where is the rule that says that the Chief Secretary can be a member of the Commission?" Backing Joy's contention, fellow MPP MLA Dr Nimaichand Luwang said that there are numerous loop holes in the functioning and composition of the State Vigilance Commission.

Recommendations given by the Commission are always given the short shrift, he observed.

The suggestions to open Vigilance cells in 15 Government Departments identified as sensitive have not been complied with, added Dr Luwang.

Explaining the position of the Government, Chief Minister O Ibobi informed the House that it is tough to find a sitting Judge to be a member of the Vigilance Commission.

Moreover none of the retired Judge are willing to become a member of the Commission, he added.

In case any retired Judge shows some interest, the Government would appoint him/her to the Commission, the CM assured.

Ibobi further said that the Chief Secretary has been appointed as a member of the Commission on a stop gap arrangement and added that the Government is leaving no stone unturned to make the Commission more effective.

Going into details, Ibobi said that of the 371 cases registered with the Vigilance Commission, 73 have been disposed off.

Of the 94 cases recommended by the Commission to the Government to initiate action, the Government has taken up action on 9 cases.

Efforts are underway to take up action in connection with the other cases.