Bribe demand: Haryana VB will give ‘trap money’ to plaintiffs

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Manohar Lal Khattar’s government is set to introduce a new sting in its anti-corruption campaign under which the Vigilance Bureau (VB) will give ‘trap money’ to people willing to file complaints against officials government of Haryana looking for bribes.

Three months after the VB raised the proposal to ‘create a revolving fund’ so that ‘trap money’ could easily be provided to the complainant and he then considered the decision in a series of meetings, the State government has given its approval in principle, said a senior government official.

By introducing the concept of a revolving fund, the VB has attempted to address the ever-increasing reluctance of people who must first raise the red flag and then provide the hush money in the run-up to VB setting the trap to catch red-handed offense. the government agent/official demanding a bribe.

Another area of ​​concern that this decision by the VB attempts to address is that in a large number of cases, where the bribe requested is high, the plaintiff decides not to approach the VB.

Not only that, the money provided by the plaintiff at the time of the trap remains deposited in court until the cases are finally decided.

“This issue (the burden of providing money for the trap) has bothered investigative agencies because the complainant often feels that the amount used for the trap is not just a financial loss, but also a burden. This discourages many complainants from coming forward freely and affects the fight against the eradication of corruption,” said Shatrujeet Kapur, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of VB.

“Already, the state government has adopted a zero-tolerance policy against corruption. A series of measures have been taken to encourage complainants to come forward and give specific information against corrupt elements and these efforts have paid off,” DG Kapur added.

The state government gave a nod in principle to VB after seeking clarification on the financial implications of this proposal and how the money paid to the plaintiff will flow back to the revolving fund, a senior government official said. government aware of the development, adding that final official approval will be given soon.

Rajasthan has a similar setup

VB is the state government’s leading anti-corruption investigative agency to fight corruption among public officials and prevent leakage of government revenue.

In its detailed proposal to the government, the VB said that “it is often seen” that the plaintiff wants to “be tricked by the agent/agent asking for a bribe” instead of giving the money. bribe.

“But due to (his) poor financial situation, the plaintiff cannot be trapped. In addition, the amount provided by the plaintiff at the time of the trap remains deposited in court until its final decision and does not recover the amount for a long time, which leads to difficulties,” the VB document reads.

The office said some states have already solved this problem by providing “trap” money themselves after creating a revolving fund. The government of Rajasthan has established 1 crore revolving fund in 2021 which is used by its anti-corruption office.

Anti-Corruption Bureau of Rajasthan uses this fund whenever a plaintiff is unable to pay the bribe money due to bad financial condition or any other reason like bribe requested is ‘very high’.

Haryana VB said that if the financial condition of the complainant is not good and the bribe amount is arranged as loan or interest, then VB will reimburse the said amount to the complainant from of the proposed revolving fund within one week.

“When a large amount is demanded from the complainant in the form of a bribe and the complainant is unable to obtain this amount immediately, the office will provide the revolving fund money to the trap. This fund is necessary to effectively implement the state government’s zero tolerance policy against corruption,” VB said.

What is a revolving fund

This will be a permanent, restricted fund into which the money will be returned. The Haryana Vigilance Office has told the state government that this fund will only be used in special circumstances and in accordance with the relevant provisions.

“The proposed revolving fund will only cost the treasury for the first two or three years,” the VB said, while discussing the proposal. Once the court decision is received, the money from the trap will be released and deposited into the public treasury.

“Thus, there will be no additional financial burden on the government because the amount spent as trap money will revert to the government,” the VB said, seeking to create a new subtitle as 1 crore ahead of his budget.


  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Pawan Sharma, based in Chandigarh, is the Punjab bureau chief, Hindustan Times. Over the past 16 years, notably in Delhi and Himachal Pradesh, he has produced high-impact reporting on Tibetan affairs, justice, politics and government corruption.
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