THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Vigilance director Loknath Behera has directed Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) officials to invoke provisions to attach property and money of corrupt officials. Mr Behera told DC that it was found that the provisions to attach assets of corrupt or suspect officials were not being effectively used by the VACB and hence the new directive. The Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance of 1944 empowers law enforcement agencies to initiate steps for attaching property. The proceedings could be initiated even while the investigation is on. However, properties in the name of benamis could be attached only if the links with accused could be established.
In a detailed circular to vigilance officials on the steps to be initiated to invoke the attachment provision, Mr Behera said they need only in case of illegal property or wealth above Rs 11 lakh acquired using the illegal wealth. In case such assets could not be acquired, other assets of the accused could be attached. Prior sanction from the government is required to initiate the attachment proceedings. While the investigation is progressing, applications for attachment could be submitted to the district judge where the accused of suspect person resides. Once charge sheeted, applications need to be filed at the special judge’s court. Affidavits of investigation officer on grounds for attaching the property shall also be submitted along with the application for attachment.