Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the Punjab government related to the latter’s circular limiting the powers of the Vigilance Bureau.

A bench comprising of Chief justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Suryakant, accepting the plea filed by High Court lawyer HC Arora against the Punjab government’s decision to reduce the Vigilance Bureau’s power, decided to hear the case on January 19, 2012.

According to the petition filed, the Punjab government on March 6, 2000 issued a circular which talks about reducing the powers of Vigilance Bureau.

It is mentioned in the petition that the government constituted two committees, one to look after complains made against Class-I officers which would be headed by the Chief Secretary while the other to act on complains made against remaining government officials. The second committee would be headed by Secretary, Vigilance Bureau.

Petition also states that the Vigilance Bureau cannot start initial investigation against any government official without the approval of the respective committee. Apart from this the Bureau cannot carry investigation against any gazetted officer until directed by the state government.

Citing an earlier decision by the Supreme Court in which the Apex Court dismissed a single directive issued by the Central government to the CBI, the petitioner contended that the Punjab government in its circular issued on March 6, 2000 is over ruling the SC directive given in Vineet Narayan case.

While hearing the petition the High Court took this matter seriously following which a notice has been issued to the state government.