Chandigarh: A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court comprising Justices S S Saron and Lisa Gill on Tuesday, though without issuing any formal notice of motion order, asked the Law Officer to ascertain from the state government as to how the state government justifies its order dated of July 23, 2007 issued to the Director of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau, vide which it was conveyed to the Bureau that the Vigilance Bureau Officers were harassing the panchayats on the basis of bogus and false complaints. The Vigilance Bureau was directed that if it got any complaint then at first the enquiry be conducted from the concerned department (the Rural Development and Panchayats Department) and if the person is found guilty, only then the Vigilance Department may take action.
The petitioner H C Arora appearing in person argued that the Vigilance Bureau has been completely gagged, and it has been restrained from enquiring into any complaint against any officer of the Rural Development and Panchayats Department, without first getting permission from the said department.
The petitioner submitted that the Supreme Court had in 1997 in Vineet Narain’s case, held that the CBI’s powers to investigate the complaints of corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act cannot be taken away by the government through an executive order. Thus, the order dated of July 23, 2007 is totally illegal and liable to be set aside.
The petitioner referred to an undertaking, on affidavit, given by the Punjab Government on April 8, 2015 in a PIL filed by none else than the present petitioner, to the effect that it would not interfere in the independent functioning of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau.The PIL has been adjourned to December 14 for further proceedings.
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