Bhubaneswar: Taking strong action against corruption, the Vigilance Department has unearthed disproportionate assets worth Rs 268 crores with record seizures of concealed ill-gotten cash, Vigilance Director Yeshwant K Jethwa.
Speaking at the State-level Vigilance Awareness Week observation, Shri Jethwa said the Vigilance has intensified targeted enforcement action during the last two years, and detected a number of high value corruption cases surpassing previous records. In 2022 and 2023 so far we have unearthed disproportionate assets worth 268 Crores with record seizures of concealed ill-gotten cash, he said.
In line with “zero tolerance to corruption” policy, the vigilance has kept up its relentless anti-corruption drive in the State focusing on impactful detections and prosecutions, the Director Vigilance said.
This year till date, the Vigilance has registered 201 cases against 364 persons including 38 Group-A officers and 37 Group-B officers. Charge sheets have been filed in 198 cases against 486 persons including 42 Group-A and 31 Group-B officers.
While 87 cases have ended in conviction against 115 accused persons, 27 public servants have been dismissed from service and pension of 14 retired Public Servants stopped following their conviction in vigilance cases, he said.
Last year, the Vigilance had conducted searches at over 600 locations, froze 898 bank accounts of corrupt public servants, carried out technical evaluations of 111 buildings and projects.
“We have also prioritized prompt completion of investigations; our disposal rate in 2022 was the highest in a decade. On the prosecution front, with sharper vigil during trial and deployment of expert legal human resources, our conviction rate was a high 77% in DA cases. We have continued with the same rigor this year too; and we are determined to better our record in the future,” Shri Jethwa pointed out.
The Director informed that the State will soon have a state of the art building for the State Vigilance Academy, which has grown into a unique academic platform for discourse in areas of anti-corruption, transparency and good governance.
Prosecution liaison officers have been recruited for every vigilance court in the State, and they have started acting as additional watchdogs, monitoring and strengthening prosecution and trial, he stated.
All the vigilance courts are now digitally connected with vigilance offices and video conferencing based witness testimonies have considerably expedited trials, saving time, energy and resources.
“Corruption is a Cancer that needs surgical actions; else it can impact investments, welfare, equity, development, and trust in government. I assure you sir that Odisha Vigilance will continue its drive and play its designated role in the march of the State towards a New Odisha,” the Vigilance Director assured.