HOW TO REPORT A DEMAND FOR BRIBE IN INDIA?
By Lawfarm Team August 26, 2016
The process of reporting a demand for bribe by any government employee can be dealt under two different heads as follows:
Central Government employees
The Central Vigilance Commission is the central body that is authorized to inquire or cause an inquiry or investigation into the cases of allegations of corruption against public servants. The complaint can be lodged only against the following officials:
- Central Govt. Ministries/Departments
- Central Govt. Public Sector Undertakings
- All India Services employees.
- Nationalized Banks, Insurance Companies like NABARD, LIC etc
- Autonomous organizations created through an Act of the Parliament or under the administrative control of the Government of India, like All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Port Trusts, and Delhi Development Authority etc.
- Centrally administered territories including Delhi, Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, Puducherry etc.
- Societies and local authorities owned or controlled by the Govt. of India.
Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) does not directly investigate into the matter but causes an inquiry through the CBI or the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of the Organizational head concerned. However, the complaint can be lodged with CVC.
- Lodging of Complaint
- Through CVC’s website
A complaint can be registered directly through the CVC’s website by following steps:
- Register as new users by filling up the form here: http://portal.cvc.gov.in/portal/web?or
- Click on the lodge complaint link on the Homepage of CVC and fill in the required details regarding the same.
- Through letter/email addressed to CVC
Complaint can also be registered with the CVC through an email or a hardcopy letter. There is no prescribed format in which the application is to be made. However, the following things must be kept in mind:
- It is necessary to disclose your personal details because as per the general rules of CVC, anonymous or pseudonymous complaints are not entertained by the commission.
- The letter or mail must be addressed to the commission directly.
- The complaint must contain factual details, verifiable facts, related matters etc. and not just vague or sweep general allegations.
- The email must contain the postal address and contact details of the sender or else, the complaint shall be considered autonomous.
- Complaint under Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informer’s Resolution (PIDPIR) or Whistle Blower Complaints
If the complainant while registering a complaint wants his identity to remain secret, he can file a complaint under PIDPIR. The commission would then be mandated not only to maintain secrecy but to protect the complainant from any kind of physical threat. All the details of this type of application are accessible here: http://cvc.nic.in/004vgl264022012.pdf
Following are the directions for filing a whistle blower complaint with CVC:
- The Complaint can be made only by post in a secured envelope.
- The envelope should be addressed to Secretary, Central Vigilance and should be super scribed “Complaint under The Public Interest Disclosure”. If the envelope is not closed and super scribed as mentioned then it will be dealt as a normal complaint.
- The complainant should refrain from giving his name on the body of the letter. The personal detail should be separately given or given at the top or end of the letter so that they can be easily blocked out.
- The complaint must contain factual details, verifiable facts and not vague or sweeping allegations.
- If any person is victimized due to the fact that he had filed a complaint under the Whistle Blower provisions, he may file an application before the Commission seeking redressal in the matter.
- Directly to CBI
CBI can also be directly approached anytime by sending the complaint by post, or SMS from a mobile phone, by making a phone call to the nearest anti - corruption branch of CBI, by sending e-mails to its officers and by posting the information/complaint on this website.
All the required details for above are available on CBI website in the following links: http://cbi.nic.in/contact.php, http://cbi.nic.in/network.php. In fact, each CBI anti-corruption branch sends regular SMS to citizens through telecom operators to spread awareness.
CBI also accepts oral information and has a well-laid policy for the same. The informant is only handled by the officer to whom the information has been provided. Disclosure of the identity of the informant cannot be put in writing, demanded by the court or even by the senior officers or the officer to whom the information has been provided. But action against such complaint is also taken only after discreet verification and if the prima facie criminal case is made out. However, in order to report a case to CBI, evidentiary document, audio/video clip must also be submitted along with the complaint.
The CBI also lays emphasis on catching the corrupt officials red-handed by laying down the trap in order to get evidence to prove the charges. The complainant has to bear the cost of laying down such trap.
- Initial Scrutiny by the CVC
Only those complaints that prima facie indicate a potential of vigilance is recorded in the register by the CVC. The Complaints, which relate to purely administrative matters or technical lapses, such as late attendance, disobedience etc. should be dealt separately under “non-vigilance complaints” by the CVO of the concerned organization. Also, the complaints which do not fulfill the criteria mentioned under the head of “Lodging a complaint” are also referred to CVO or head of such an organization and the administrative authority may in rare cases choose to pursue such anonymous complaints as well.
- Scrutiny and Referral
The CVC then ascertains the merits of the complaint in order to decide whether it should be pursued for further investigation or not.
Thereafter, a preliminary investigation is carried to verify the facts so as to decide whether the complaint should proceed through the department or in the court of law. Only in cases that are essentially non-vigilant in nature, investigation is to be made departmentally. In all other cases, the investigation must be entrusted upon the Central Bureau of Investigation. Chapter 4 of the CVC manual deals in detail of entrusting investigation through CBI. It can be accessed on: http://cvc.nic.in/man04.pdf . The parallel investigation must be avoided when CBI takes up a complaint about investigation.
After the complaint is registered, the complainant is issued a complaint number, which he can use to track the status of his complaint by using the “complaint status” link on the website here: http://cvc.gov.in/comp_stat_srch.asp . However, no further correspondence in the matter is entertained.
State Government Employees
For the employees of the State Government, a State Vigilance Commission or Lokayukta has been established for each state. It deals with the cases of allegations of corruption against the public servant and ministers of the respective state.
There is a slight difference in the procedure followed by each State Lokayukta. Some of the states like Haryana, Punjab and Delhi have dedicated toll-free Anti-graft and Anti- Corruption Helplines. Usually, states have an option of e-filing of complaint on the website portal or sending complaints through letters and emails. Some states procure fees for the complaint whereas many have refrained from this practice. The Lokayukta of Karnataka is considered as the strongest among other states. The filing procedure of a complaint is as follows:
Lodging a Complaint
For example, Karnataka’s state vigilance body is referred to as Karnataka Lokayukta and following is the procedure for filing of complaint before the same:
- Every complaint shall be made in Form 1, signed by the Complainant and shall be supported by his affidavit in Form II duly sworn before any Judicial Magistrate First Class, Notary Public, Oath Commissioner or any Gazette Officer duly authorized to administer oaths. The forms can be accessed here: http://lokayukta.kar.nic.in/forms.pdf
The complaint may be presented in person or sent by registered post to the Registrar. The address of the Karnataka Lokayukta is as follows:
Lokayuktha, 124, I Floor MS Building, Bangalore – 560001
Phone No. +91-8022257638
Such complaint shall be acknowledged by the Registrar specifying the name, designation and department of the public servant against whom such complaint is made.
Karnataka does not have a provision for registering oral complaints but other states do.
Scrutiny and Registration
- After a complaint is lodged, the Registrar shall enter the details of such complaint in the Register of Complaints.
- The Registrar then scrutinizes the complaint and if there is any defect in the same with respect to compliance with the Act and Rules, he shall within a period of fifteen days excluding general holidays from the date of its receipt, issue a notice to the Complainant in Form No.III to rectify the defect within the time specified in the notice
- All the complaints are then placed before the Lokayukta or the Upalokayukta as the case may be, for further inquiry.
After the complaint is registered, the complainant is issued a complaint number, which he can use to track the status of his complaint by using the “Latest Case Status” link on the website here: http://lokayukta.kar.nic.in/casenoqry.asp.
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