Punjab Assembly on Friday passed three legislations including the Punjab State Vigilance Commission (Repeal) Bill, 2022.
Moving a resolution to this regard even as the Opposition started a protest and demanded the arrest of Cabinet minister Fauja Singh Sarari, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said that the main function of the Punjab State Vigilance Commission is to enquire or cause enquiries into complaints alleging commission of offences by a public servant under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2018.
He said the Commission is also empowered to exercise superintendence and control over the functioning of the Vigilance Bureau and police establishment in so far it relates to corruption cases.
Mann said Punjab state Vigilance Commission Act 2020, which was supposed to be enacted on the lines of the Central Vigilance Commission Act 2003, suffers from serious deviations.
The CM said the Vigilance Commission constituted under this Act is, therefore, not serving any useful objectives except being a burden on the State exchequer.
He said as there are multiple agencies in the state to deal with the same set of stakeholders including a full-fledged Vigilance Department.
Mann said that to avoid overlapping, contradictory findings, resultant delays and gaps in communication, it has become necessary to repeal the Punjab State vigilance Commission Act 2020 (Punjab Act no. 20 of 2020).
The state government has enacted Punjab State Vigilance Commission Repeal Act, 2022 by repealing the Punjab State Vigilance Commission Act, 2020 (Punjab Act no. 20 of 2020).
He said the Punjab State Vigilance Commission Act had come into force on 13 November, 2020. Mann said Punjab State Vigilance Commission set up under this Act has not achieved the desired objectives. He said that this decision has been taken in the larger public interest of the residents of the state.
Amid uproar in the House by Opposition over the demand for the arrest of Sarari, two other Bills – The Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulations) Amendment Bill, 2022, and The Punjab GST (Amendment) Bill, 2022, were also passed.