Delhi News : The development is important in the backdrop of Delhi lieutenant governor VK Saxena taking a “serious view of the procedural lapses and delays” by the ACB. A PE is the first step before the ACB files an FIR or decides to close the corruption complaint.
The Delhi government’s anti-corruption branch (ACB) is aiming to finish investigation in 180 pending cases, officials aware of the development said, and added that some of them date back to 2010.
Most of the pending cases are against officials working with the Delhi government because the agency is primarily tasked with investigating cases or allegations of corruption against officials of the Delhi government, the officials added.
The development is important in the backdrop of Delhi lieutenant governor VK Saxena taking a “serious view of the procedural lapses and delays” by the ACB. On August 2, the lieutenant governor had also asked for an explanation from the ACB on why so many cases were pending with the agency.
While the ACB comes under the state government’s department of vigilance, the chief of the agency reports to the LG. Officers in the ACB are brought on deputation from the Delhi Police.
“There are around 180 such cases, which need closure. The work to start clearing the cases has started. Officers have been given a target to ensure the cases are taken to its logical conclusion. We are also looking at the complaints. In many complaints, a preliminary enquiry(PE) had been ordered but there was no development,” said an officer, who asked not to be named.
A PE is the first step before the ACB files an FIR or decides to close the corruption complaint.
Last month, Delhi chief secretary Naresh Kumar, had also taken stock of the cases pending with the anti-graft unit. During the meeting, the senior officers noted that the ACB could clear the pendency work load because they have very few new cases to investigate. For example, in 2021 there were only 12 new cases, in 2020 too there were only 12 cases.
“This data on cases was hared with the LG office earlier this month after which the LG sought a report from the ACB. With a new officer taking charge as the chief last week, the work has started to clear the pendency,” the officer quoted above said.
Last week, Madhur Verma, an additional commissioner rank police officer was appointed the head of the anti-graft unit.
Officers aware of the details about the pending cases said that most of these are against officials of the state government’s revenue department, followed by Delhi Jal Board and the education department.
Until 2015, the ACB probed cases against officials other than those of the Delhi government. The MHA in June 2015 issued a notification reiterating that ACB could only probe cases against officials under the Delhi government. The Delhi government has in the past said the Centre rendered the ACB toothless by confining it to probe only officials of the state government.