Vigilance & Anti-Corruption Bureau registers cases under the PC Act 1988 on finding prima facie evidence of criminal misconduct by Public Servants, after conducting Vigilance Enquiry/Confidential Verification/Surprise Check/Quick Verification and on receipt of information of demand and acceptance of bribe by Public Servants. Vigilance Cases are registered by the Unit Officers after getting sanction from the Director of the Bureau, based on the evidence available. In Trap Cases, the Unit Officers are authorized to register Cases Suo-moto. This Bureau also collects intelligence about corrupt officials and proceeds.
The Bureau conducts Vigilance Enquiries (VE) into the matters referred to the Director for enquiry by the Government. But the Bureau does not initiate Vigilance Enquiries suo motu on complaints received directly by the Bureau. They are forwarded to the Government for further orders. If at any stage during a Vigilance Enquiry conducted by the Bureau there are reasonable grounds to believe that the public servant has committed an offence under the PC Act, the Vigilance Enquiry is stopped at that stage and a crime case registered and investigated after obtaining sanction from the Director.
The Bureau shall collect intelligence on corruption and corrupt officials and process the information with utmost confidentiality. The Director, VACB may order the conduct of Confidential Verification on information or complaint received by the Bureau to ascertain whether the allegations raised therein call for a formal enquiry (Vigilance Enquiry). Confidential Verification will be done in complete secrecy without recording the statements of witnesses or conducting other open field enquiries that may compromise its confidentiality.
Government is the proper authority to order a Vigilance Enquiry. But very often Government forward references to this Bureau for examination and report without formally ordering a Vigilance Enquiry. The Courts also forward a number of references for enquiries without strictly ordering Vigilance Enquiry. In such references, action is required to ascertain prima facie the genuineness of the contents of the petition by generally verifying the basic facts. Conducting elaborate Vigilance Enquiries on all Court Endorsed References and Government Endorsed References would only delay the replies to Court/Government. Hence a new practice of conducting ‘Quick Verification' (QV) started from 01.10.2008 onwards. The time limit prescribed for completion of Quick Verification is 45 days or such time limits as may be prescribed by Court or Government.
The Vigilance & Anti-Corruption Bureau, at its initiative, conducts Surprise Checks on receipt of petitions and Source reports. The Bureau conducts surprise checks to establish the truth regarding information received from various sources about suspected case of corruption and intimate, the results of the surprise checks to the Government. The Bureau has conducted more than 30 Statewide Surprise Checks during last five years.
The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau conducts Preliminary Enquiry (P.E) which include Vigilance Enquiry/Quick Verification/Surprise Check/Confidential Verification and Discreet Enquiry to satisfy whether or not commission of cognizable offence is revealed on information received through various source to the Bureau, before registering an FIR. There are only two types of FIR contemplated under the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, one is on the basis of the information furnished by the informant under Section 154(1) of the Code and second one is registration of FIR under Section 157(1) of the Code. The requirement of conducting Preliminary Inquiry has been approved by the Honourable Supreme Court of India, owing to the change in genesis and novelty of crimes including corruption cases, with the passage of time. As per the decision in Lalitha Kumari V.Government of Uttar Pradesh and Others (AIR 2014 SC 187), a full-fledged Enquiry by regular State Police as done in the CBI is not permissible since regular State Police are not established under any Special Act like CBI with special procedures to be followed for investigation and hence regular State Police including Vigilance & Anti-Corruption Bureau adhere to the procedure in the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 in the conduct of investigation. All information relating to cognizable offences, whether resulting in registration of FIR or leading to an inquiry are recorded in the General Diary/Station Diary. The purpose of conducting preliminary inquiry on information lodged with the Station House Officer of a Police Station is to unveil commission of a Cognizable Offence and the maximum time permissible for such an enquiry is 42 days. If within this period, commission of cognizable offence is not revealed in the inquiry, it can be closed and the closure of inquiry will be intimated to the informant. If cognizable offence is revealed in the Preliminary Enquiry, then FIR will be registered on the said verified information and it will be duly informed to the concerned Vigilance Court. When in the Preliminary Enquiry, only misconduct or Conduct Rule violations of Public Servants are revealed, the Bureau recommend to the Government for remedial actions as envisaged in G.O(P)65/92/vig. Dated 12.5.1992.