Haryana plans its own anti-cor­rup­tion watch­dog

KHAT­TAR’S BRAIN­CHILD To be set up on the lines of the cen­tral vig­i­lance com­mis­sion, will bol­ster the anti-cor­rup­tion im­age of state gov­ern­ment

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - HTREGION - Pawan Sharma pawan.sharma@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The Haryana gov­ern­ment is ac­tively mulling a pro­posal to set up a pow­er­ful and au­ton­o­mous anti-cor­rup­tion watch­dog on the lines of cen­tral vig­i­lance com­mis­sion (CVC).

“A brain­child of chief min­is­ter Manohar Lal Khat­tar, the state vig­i­lance com­mis­sion (SVC) will greatly help in en­sur­ing clean and trans­par­ent ad­min­is­tra­tion. The idea is to send a loud and clear mes­sage to the cor­rupt el­e­ments,” said two top gov­ern­ment func­tionar­ies, who are privy to the devel­op­ment.

As vig­i­lance bu­reaus/or­gan­i­sa­tions are di­rectly un­der the con­trol of state gov­ern­ments, of­ten there are al­le­ga­tions of th­ese de­part­ments be­ing used to set­tle political scores and check­mate op­po­nents. An over­ar­ch­ing au­ton­o­mous vig­i­lance in­sti­tu­tion free from the con­trol of the state gov­ern­ment and political in­flu­ence will cre­ate an ef­fec­tive de­ter­rence against cor­rup­tion, said one of the func­tionar­ies.

The SVC will also bol­ster the im­age of the CM whose slew of mea­sures, in­clud­ing on­line trans­fer pol­icy, have al­ready brought a lot of trans­parency in the gov­ern­ment func­tion­ing.

No­tably, clean gov­er­nance has been Khat­tar’s poll plank in the as­sem­bly and Lok Sabha elec­tions.

“The CM wants to have SVC in place at the ear­li­est, but not be­fore build­ing a con­sen­sus and seek­ing sup­port of the Op­po­si­tion,” a state BJP leader said, adding that dis­creet dis­cus­sions are on with some key political lead­ers. Some trusted bu­reau­crats in the chief min­is­ter’s of­fice are also in the loop.

“The SVC will have em­i­nent mem­bers from di­verse fields, in­clud­ing ju­di­ciary, to en­sure vi­tal checks and bal­ances,” said the sec­ond of­fi­cial.

LE­GAL FOOT­ING

Le­gal ex­perts say a proper leg­is­la­tion needs to be en­acted to set up the SVC. “It should not be based on the ex­ec­u­tive or­der and must be iden­ti­cal to the CVC,” they added. “How the SVC panel is se­lected will in­di­cate the in­ten­tions of the gov­ern­ment. While ap­point­ing the SVC panel, the gov­ern­ment must adopt the same method­ol­ogy, stan­dards and pro­ce­dures as fol­lowed by the Cen­tre,” say le­gal ex­perts, adding that there was no scope of di­lut­ing the ap­point­ment process.

PULLS & PRES­SURES

A sim­i­lar plan mooted by the neigh­bour­ing Pun­jab gov­ern­ment some years ago came a crop­per due to the pres­sure mounted by the IPS lobby that was op­posed to the SVC. The gov­ern­ment func­tionar­ies cited above ad­mit­ted the pos­si­ble back­lash from the “IPS bri­gade” in the state too.

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