In the light of recent, gargantuan embezzlement scams worth thousands of crores, where the perpetrators like Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya have been easily skirting the government’s snare by remaining outside the country, it is certainly time for India to take a tough stance against her conniving and corrupt citizens.
To keep a check on such escapades which allow offenders to escape penalties and punishments, the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension has decided to up the entire system of vigilance clearance for obtaining a passport, with a rigorous screening mechanism for government officials.
Here is everything you need to know about the new set of guidelines released by the Department of Personnel and Training on Wednesday, that will no longer make it easy for corrupt bureaucrats and government employees to flee the country:
1. Government officers facing criminal or corruption charges will not be granted vigilance clearance for the grant of passport.
2. However, the concerned authorities can take a call, in case such officers have to make a foreign visit under extremely urgent situations like medical emergencies.
3. The vigilance clearance can be withheld in scenarios where the officer is involved in a trap or raid case on charges of corruption, and the investigation is still pending, or if an FIR has been filed. It can also be withheld if a case has been registered by any government entity against the officer, after a preliminary fact-finding inquiry, and even in cases where the officer is under suspension.
4. The vigilance clearance will also be denied in case a charge sheet has been filed in a court by the investigating agency in a criminal case and the case is pending.
5. The guidelines also take situations into account where a sanction for investigation or prosecution has been granted by the competent authority in a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act or any other criminal matter, and a charge sheet has been issued against the officer in a disciplinary proceeding, and the proceeding is pending.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)