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
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 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.