The CBI can conduct joint surprise checks at places of corruption in cooperation with the vigilance unit of the department concerned, said the Central Vigilance Commission's new vigilance manual launched on Thursday.
However, wherever adequate and credible information exists about some corruption racket, it would be a better idea to verify such information and register a regular case rather than resorting to surprise check, it said.
"CBI may conduct joint surprise checks at places and points of corruption in cooperation with the vigilance unit of the department concerned, after thoroughly acquainting themselves with the rules, regulations, procedure and practice as well as the modus operandi adopted by the corrupt public servants," the manual said.
Investigation into allegations against officers under suspension or about to retire should be given the highest priority, as per the fresh set of guidelines on vigilance matters.
It also emphasised on the expeditious completion of enquiry or investigation by the CBI.
"The Head of Zone (CBI's working is divided into various zones covering parts of states/areas) or the Deputy Inspector General should keep a close watch on the progress of enquiries and investigations to ensure that the processing of the enquiries and the investigations is done as expeditiously as possible," the manual said.
In cases referred by the CVC for investigation and report, the CBI shall furnish reports on such complaints within a period of six months, it said.
The 'Vigilance Manual 2017', which is the seventh such document, was unveiled today by Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
Secretary (Personnel) Ajay Mittal, Central Vigilance Commissioner K V Chowdary and CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma were among other officers present during the function.
This is the seventh volume of the manual. The sixth edition of the vigilance manual was launched in 2015.
Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 lays down that no court shall take cognisance of an offence punishable under certain sections of Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act, 1988 alleged to have been committed by a public servant, except with the previous sanction of the authority competent to remove him from his office, the latest edition of the vigilance manual said.
"It may be noted that the requirement of previous sanction under section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 is necessary only in respect of serving public servants and no such sanction is required in respect of retired public servants under the PC Act," it said.
The manual said investigation into allegations against officers under suspension or about to retire should be given the highest priority so that the period of suspension is kept to the barest minimum and there is sufficient time for processing the probe report involving retiring employees.
"The fact of impending retirement and/or suspension of the officer should be prominently marked on the case to attract attention of all concerned," it said.