The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has expressed concerns over slow disposal of corruption cases registered by the CBI and pending in various courts, some for over 20 years. A total of 6,502 cases registered under Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act were pending trial, as on December 31, 2016. Of these, 209 were pending for more than 20 years, 1,424 for more than 10 years and up to 20 years, and 1,974 for over five years and up to ten years, as per CVC’s annual report tabled in Parliament recently. As many as 955 cases were pending for more than three years and up to five years, and 1,940 were pending for less than three years, it said. “The Commission is concerned about the slow progress of disposal of a large number of cases pending trial in different courts for long periods, at times for over twenty years,” the report said. Such inordinate delays in the dispensation of justice defeat the very purpose of efficient vigilance administration and are an impediment to the fight against corruption, it said.
The Commission has been emphasising that effective measures are required to be taken to increase the disposal of pending PC Act cases under trial/appeals/revision in order to effectively combat corruption.
The pendency of these cases have been brought to the notice of the authorities concerned with a request for such appropriate action as are possible to expedite the finalisation of such cases, the report said.
The probity watchdog also highlighted corruption cases pending investigation with CBI, a few for more than five years, due to “too much of workload” and “inadequacy of manpower” among other reasons.
A total of 664 such cases were pending investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Of these, eight were pending for more than five years, 19 for over three years and up to five years, 43 for more than two years and less than three years, 132 for over one year and less than two years, and 462 for less than one year.
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“The Commission has observed that there have been some delays in completing the investigation in certain cases.
“Some of the reasons for such delays include delay in receipt of prosecution sanction from competent authorities, delay in obtaining responses to Letters Rogatory (LRs), verification of documents, title deeds, etc, in disproportionate asset cases and delay in obtaining reports from forensic laboratories, too much of workload, inadequacy of manpower,” the CVC report said.