Kerala anti-graft body wants more teeth, plans to build lock-ups
- VACB plans to construct 18 lock-ups and three special cells for facilitating arrest and interrogation of the accused involved in crimes including corruption
- Vigilance Chief has directed his officers to treat the accused in corruption like those involved in organised crimes.
- As of now, the VACB arrests only the public servants caught for bribery.
It seems the Kerala Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau (VACB) is planning for a massive crack down on the corrupt soon. The anti-graft body is going ahead with a plan to set up lock-ups in its offices across the state to lodge the detainees. It sought the government nod to construct 18 lock-ups and three special cells.
The VACB Director Jacob Thomas has sought the nod from the state government to construct lock-ups. The bureau plans to build lock-ups in all the 14 district Vigilance Offices, four range offices and three special cells. Majority offices have submitted the draft plan and estimate for the construction.
As of now, the VACB arrests only the public servants caught for bribery. In other corruption cases, the bureau's powers are limited to filing charge-sheet against the accused.
The VACB now plans to arrest and seek the custody of the corrupt and those who are charged with in disproportionate assets cases. Thomas has issued a directive asking Vigilance Officers to treat the accused in corruption cases just as those involved in organised crimes. He feels that strict measures are needed to check rampant corruption.
Just after taking charge as the VACB Director in June this year, Thomas had issued a strict warning to the corrupt and told them that they should not expect mercy from him. "There will not be any warning at tall. The corrupt will face instant action. All departments will be under our scanner," he had said.