The Vigilance Bureau has been empowered to enquire into allegation against all public servants, as defined under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The jurisdiction of Vigilance Bureau was originally restricted to Punjab Government employees and members of All India Services (Para I (B) (ii) instructions dated 15.09.1967). However, it was extended vide instructions dated 15.10.1979 so as to cover employees of autonomous and statutory Boards/ Corporations and Improvement Trusts. At present all the public servants are covered under prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 subject to its jurisdiction.
The Vigilance Bureau ordinarily does not take cognizance of anonymous and pseudonymous complaints unless these contain specific allegations of verifiable nature. Complaints requiring administrative action are referred to administrative department concerned for necessary action. If during enquiries the allegations are proved then Vigilance Enquiries/Criminal Cases are registered against the suspects. During the investigation of Vigilance Enquiries the material collected by IO is looked into by the legal & technical support staff of Vigilance Bureau who examines the viability and nature of evidence and assists the Chief Director, Vigilance Bureau in taking the final decision. Criminal cases under PC Act are registered where there is the evidence. Besides, Regular Departmental proceedings are recommended to the Administrative Department/Vigilance Department against public servants.
Cases registered under the P.C. Act-1988 were previously being investigated by Gazetted Police Officers only. On the proposal of Vigilance Bureau, Punjab, Govt. of Punjab (Deptt. of Vigilance), vide its Notification dated 20.9.2012, in exercise of the powers conferred by the first proviso to section 17 of the Prevention of Corruption Act-1988, has authorized Inspectors of Police, for the time being, serving in the Vigilance Bureau, Punjab and has entrusted all powers to them to investigate under P.C.Act-1988.
The main function of the Vigilance Bureau is as under:-
- To collect intelligence regarding corruption and corrupt public servants.
- To conduct enquiries into the complaints of corruption against public servants.
- To conduct investigation of criminal cases involving corruption by the public servants.
- To assist in prosecution against the defaulter public servants in trial courts.
- To conduct raids to catch corrupt Govt. Servants red-handed while accepting bribes.
- To submit information, data and reports to the State Govt. regarding corruption and corrupt public servants.
- To suggest measures to check corruption in various Govt. Department.
- To keep a watch over departmental proceedings on charges of corruption against public servants entrusted to respective departments.
- To conduct joint checking of the ongoing projects in various departments.