Srinagar: The government Saturday came up with guidelines for its employees as well as Public Sector Undertakings for getting vigilance clearance, a must for promotion.
As per the procedure laid down, vigilance clearance shall not be withheld due to the filing of a complaint, unless it is established on the basis of at least a preliminary inquiry or on the basis of any information that the concerned Department may already have in its possession that there is prima facie substance to verifiable allegations regarding the corruption, possession of assets disproportionate to known sources of income, moral turpitude or violation of the J&K Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1956.
“Vigilance clearance shall not be withheld if a preliminary inquiry takes more than three months to be completed,” reads the guidelines issued almost seven years after the Government of India, Ministry of Personnel & Public Grievances & Pensions (Department of Personnel & Training), laid down similar procedure for central government employees.
The vigilance clearance, government said, shall also not be withheld unless the officer is under suspension; a charge-sheet has been issued against him or her in a disciplinary proceeding (complete or pending); orders for instituting disciplinary proceeding have been issued by the Disciplinary Authority provided that the charge sheet is served within three months from the date of passing such order or the charge-sheet has been filed in a Court by the investigating agency in a criminal case which is pending.
It shall not be withheld either if the orders for instituting a criminal case against the officer have been issued by the Disciplinary Authority provided that the chargesheet is served within three months from the date of initiating proceedings, sanction for investigation or prosecution has been granted by the Competent Authority in a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act, or any other criminal matter or an FIR has been filed or a case registered by the concerned Department against the officer provided that the charge-sheet is served within three months from the date of registration of the case.
The clearance shall not be withheld unless the officer is involved in a trap or raid case on charges of corruption and investigation is pending, the guidelines said.
“Vigilance clearance shall not be withheld due to an FIR filed on the basis of a private complaint unless a charge sheet has been filed by the investigation agency provided that there are no directions to the contrary by a competent court of law.”
The Competent Authority, it said, shall decide the vigilance clearance on a case-by-case basis keeping in view the sensitivity of the purpose, the gravity of the charges and the facts and circumstances in the situations where the investigation agency has found no substance in the allegation but the court refuses to permit closure of the FIR; or where the investigating agency or inquiry officer holds the charges as proved but the competent administrative authority differs.
In case minor penalty has been imposed on an officer, it said, vigilance clearance will not normally be granted for a period of three years after the currency of the punishment.
“In case of imposition of a major penalty, vigilance clearance will not be normally granted for a period of five years after the currency of the punishment,” it said, underlining that during the period, the performance of the officer should be closely watched.