**Cuttack:** The conviction rate of State Vigilance organization of Odisha Government during 2018 has been 51.40 percent as against 47% recorded in 2017 and has recorded a rise of 4.40%.
As per a press note released by the State Vigilance Directorate, “During the year 2018, 234 Vigilance cases have been disposed of. Out of these, 16 cases were abated due to death of the accused persons and 4 cases were discharged/dropped. Out of the rest 214 cases, 110 cases ended in conviction against 20 Class-I officers, 9 Class-II officers, 90 Class-III employees, 1 Class-IV employee and 13 private persons.”
“Thus, altogether 133 accused persons were convicted during the year. The percentage of conviction in respect of cases disposed of after trial by the courts during the year comes to 51.40% as against 47% recorded in 2017, recording a rise of 4.40%. During 2018, 20 Class-I officers were convicted as against 7 Class-I officers convicted during 2017. Thus, there was almost three fold increase in conviction of Class-I officers,” stated the press note.
It has also been mentioned that State Vigilance during the year 2018 has registered 429 criminal cases against 707 persons including 542 Public servants and 165 Private persons. This includes 182 Trap cases, 98 DA (Disproportionate Assets) cases and 149 Misappropriation cases against 52 Class-I officers, 44 Class-II officers, 433 Class-III employees, 13 Class-IV employees and 165 Private persons.
Also there was a perceptible increase in registration of trap cases in as many as 182 trap cases were registered against 195 persons as against 161 trap cases registered against 177 persons during 2017, recording a rise of 13%.
As the focus being on registration of high value D.A. cases, in as many as 38 cases, the total assets seized during house search were worth more than one crore in each case. The total amount of Disproportionate Assets in D.A. cases was also perceptibly higher i.e. about Rs.94.25 crores as against Rs.67.30 crores in 2017, recording a rise of 40%.
In 2018, 241 accused persons have been arrested and forwarded to custody, which includes 26 Class-I officers, 19 Class-II officers, 182 Class-III employees, 9 Class-IV employees and 5 Private persons. Thus, the number of arrested accused persons increased i.e. 241 including 26 Class-I officers in 2018 as against 218 accused persons including 20 Class-I officers during 2017.
Also, 33 Public servants including 2 Class-I officers, 3 Class-II officers, 27 Class III employees and 1 Class-IV employee were dismissed from service following their conviction in Vigilance cases in the year.
The State Vigilance has also recommended for initiation of Departmental action against 542 Public servants including 69 Class-I officers, 85 Class-II officers, 374 Class III employees and 14 Class-IV employees. Thus, there was a perceptible rise in recommendation for Departmental action against public servants during 2018 i.e. 542 as against 466 during 2017, recording a rise of 16%.
The year 2018 has been a year of modernization, expansion, restructuring and capacity building for Odisha Vigilance. A retired Bank officer and a practicing Chartered Accountant have been engaged as consultants. Cyber Cells have been opened at Vigilance Directorate and Divisions. Additional posts of legal counsels have been created.
Government has also approved the creation of ten posts of Prosecution Liaison Officers to strengthen the prosecution system.
Two more Forest Units for Bhubaneswar and Koraput Vigilance Divisions have been sanctioned and now all the six Vigilance Divisions have their own Forest Units. Following the introduction of goods and services tax, a Specialized Finance Wing has come up in place of Commercial Tax Wing at Vigilance Directorate and Divisions for assisting in Vigilance investigations and enquiries.
“Establishment of a State Vigilance Academy at Bhubaneswar was the biggest achievement in the year-2018. This is the first Anti-Corruption Training Academy for any State, which will greatly boost the training infrastructure and resources. The Academy has started functioning and conducted Vigilance familiarization training of IPS Probationers. The State Vigilance has also significantly extended its interface with the Colleges, Universities and Academia and intensified internship programmes for Law students,” stated the press note released by SP, Coordination, Vigilance Directorate, Cuttack.
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