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Central Vigilance Commission

Central Vigilance Commission
Seal of the Central Vigilance Commission
Agency overview
Formed February, 1964
Employees 257[1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agency India
Governing body Government of India
General nature
  • Civilian agency
Operational structure
Headquarters New Delhi, India
Agency executive Shri Rajiv[2][3], Central Vigilance Commissioner
Website
The Central Vigilance Commission

Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is an apex Indian governmental body created in 1964 to address governmental corruption. It has the status of an autonomous body, free of control from any executive authority, charged with monitoring all vigilance activity under the Central Government of India, advising various authorities in central Government organizations in planning, executing, reviewing and reforming their vigilance work.

It was set up by the Government of India in February, 1964 on the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption, headed by Shri K. Santhanam Committee, to advise and guide Central Government agencies in the field of vigilance.[4] Nittoor Srinivasa Rau, was selected as the first Chief Vigilance Commissioner of India.

The Annual Report of the CVC not only gives the details of the work done by it but also brings out the system failures which leads to corruption in various Departments/Organisations, system improvements, various preventive measures and cases in which the Commission's advises were ignored etc.

The current Central Vigilance Commissioner post is vacant, and among the two Vigilance Commissioners, one is Rajiv[5] and the other one to be filled up yet.

Contents

  • Role 1
  • Appointment 2
    • Oath or affirmation 2.1
  • Removal 3
  • Organisation 4
    • Secretariat 4.1
    • Chief Technical Examiners' Wing (CTE) 4.2
    • Commissioners for Departmental Inquiries (CDI) 4.3
    • The Directorate General of Vigilance 4.4
  • Right to Information (RTI) 5
  • Limitations of CVC 6
  • Controversies 7
    • Supreme court quashes appointment of CVC 7.1
    • Whistleblower protection 7.2
  • New initiatives 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

Role

The CVC is not an investigating agency.

The only investigation carried out by the CVC is that of examining Civil Works of the Government which is done through the Chief Technical Officer.[6]

Corruption investigations against government officials can proceed only after the government permits them. The CVC publishes a list of cases where permissions are pending, some of which may be more than a year old.[7]

The Ordinance of 1998 conferred statutory status to the CVC and the powers to exercise superintendence over functioning of the Delhi Special Police Establishment, and also to review the progress of the investigations pertaining to alleged offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 conducted by them. In 1998 the Government introduced the CVC Bill in the Lok Sabha in order to replace the Ordinance, though it was not successful. The Bill was re-introduced in 1999 and remained with the Parliament till September 2003, when it became an Act after being duly passed in both the Houses of Parliament.[8] The CVC has also been publishing a list of corrupt government officials against which it has recommended punitive action.[9]

Appointment

The Central Vigilance Commissioner and the Vigilance Commissioners are appointed by the President after obtaining the recommendation of a Committee consisting of:

Oath or affirmation

The Central Vigilance Commissioner and a Vigilance Commissioner, before he enters upon his office, is required to make and subscribe to following oath or affirmation:

Removal

The Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner can be removed from his office only by order of the President on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity after the Supreme Court, on a reference made to it by the President, has, on inquiry, reported that the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner, as the case may be, ought to be removed. The President may suspend from office, and if deem necessary prohibit also from attending the office during inquiry, the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner in respect of whom a reference has been made to the Supreme Court until the President has passed orders on receipt of the report of the Supreme Court on such reference. The President may, by order, remove from office the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner if the Central Vigilance Commissioner or such Vigilance Commissioner, as the case may be:

  • is adjudged an insolvent; or
  • has been convicted of an offence which, in the opinion of the Central Government, involves moral turpitude; or
  • engages during his term of office in any paid employment outside the duties of his office; or
  • is, in the opinion of the President, unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body; or
  • has acquired such financial or other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially his functions as a Central Vigilance Commissioner or a Vigilance Commissioner.[10]

Organisation

The CVC is headed by a Central Vigilance Commissioner who is assisted by two Vigilance Commissioners.[1]

The Central Vigilance Commission has its own Secretariat, Chief Technical Examiners' Wing (CTE) and a wing of Commissioners for Departmental Inquiries (CDI).

As on 21 March 2012, CVC has a staff strength of 257 against sanctioned strength of 299 (including the post of CVC and 2 VCs)[1]

Secretariat

The Secretariat consists of a Secretary of the rank of Additional Secretary to the [11]

Chief Technical Examiners' Wing (CTE)

The Chief Technical Examiner's Organisation constitutes the technical wing of the Central Vigilance Commission and has two Engineers of the rank of Chief Engineers (designated as Chief Technical Examiners) with supporting engineering staff. Following are the main functions of this organisation:

  • Technical audit of construction works of Governmental organisations from a vigilance angle
  • Investigating specific cases of complaints relating to construction works
  • Assisting the CBI in their investigations involving technical matters and for evaluation of properties in Delhi and
  • Assisting the Commission and Chief Vigilance Officers in vigilance cases involving technical matters.[11]

Commissioners for Departmental Inquiries (CDI)

There are fourteen posts of Commissioners for Departmental Inquiries (CDI) in the Commission, 11 in the rank of Director and 03 in the rank of Deputy Secretary. The CDIs function as Inquiry Officers to conduct inquiries in departmental proceedings initiated against public servants.[11]

The Directorate General of Vigilance

The Directorate General of Vigilance, Income Tax is the apex body under the Central Board of Direct Taxes for the vigilance matters. The Directorate General interfaces with the Central Vigilance Commission, the Central Bureau of Investigation, field formations of CBDT who are also having their Vigilance wings and others in all the matters relating to Vigilance, preliminary investigation of complaints, obtaining CVC/CVO’s first stage advice, wherever required, assistance to Ministry in issuance of charge sheets, monitoring the charge sheet issued by the Disciplinary authorities in the field, monitoring of progress in inquiry proceedings, processing of enquiry reports, obtaining CVC/CVO’s second stage advice, wherever required and communication thereof to Disciplinary authorities and monitoring compliance/implementation of the advice.

Right to Information (RTI)

CVC is a public authority as defined in the Right to Information Act and hence it is obliged to provide information requested by any citizen of India. Any interested citizen can seek specific information as per the procedure laid down by RTI Act.[12]

Limitations of CVC

  • CVC is only an advisory body. Central Government Departments are free to either accept or reject CVC's advice in corruption cases.[13]
  • CVC does not have adequate resources compared with number of complaints that it receives. It is a very small set up with a sanctioned staff strength of 299.[1] Whereas, it is supposed to check corruption in more than 1500 central government departments and ministries.[14]
  • CVC cannot direct CBI to initiate inquiries against any officer of the level of Joint Secretary and above on its own. Such a permission has to be obtained from the concerned department.
  • CVC does not have powers to register criminal case. It deals only with vigilance or disciplinary cases.[15]
  • CVC has supervisory powers over CBI. However, CVC does not have the power to call for any file from CBI or to direct CBI to investigate any case in a particular manner. CBI is under administrative control of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). Which means that, the powers to appoint, transfer, suspend CBI officers lie with DoPT.[13]
  • Appointments to CVC are indirectly under the control of Govt of India, though the leader of the Opposition (in Lok Sabha) is a member of the Committee to select CVC and VCs. But the Committee considers candidates put up before it. These candidates are decided by the Government.[10]

As a result, although CVC is relatively independent in its functioning, it has neither resources nor powers to inquire and take action on complaints of corruption that may act as an effective deterrence against corruption.[16]

Controversies

Supreme court quashes appointment of CVC

PJ Thomas was appointed as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner in September 2010, on the recommendation of a High Powered Committee (HPC) headed by the Prime Minister of India. The selection of the new CVC was marked by controversies, after Sushma Swaraj, who was part of three-member selection committee, objected to the choice of Thomas, citing the pending chargesheet against him. A public interest litigation was filed in the Supreme Court of India by Centre for Public Interest Litigation and India Rejuvenation Initiative.[17]

On March 3, 2011, the Supreme Court quashed the appointment of Thomas as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner, noting that the HPC did not consider the relevant materials on the pending chargesheet.[18] Subsequently, Mr Thomas resigned.[19]

Whistleblower protection

A few years after the murder of IIT Kanpur alumnus NHAI engineer Satyendra Dubey, the CVC launched an initiative to protect whistleblowers. However, this program has been criticized by ex-Chief Justice of India R.C. Lahoti as being ineffective. He said that he had on previous occasions through his NGO India Rejuvenation Initiative, tried to draw the attention of high officials in the CVC to the unsatisfactory manner of its functioning, but with no results.[20]

New initiatives

The following initiatives have been taken by CVC:- 1. National Anticorruption Strategy 2. Leveraging Technology to Prevent Corruption 3. Integrity in Public procurement 4. Awareness Campaign 5. Provision for Whistle Blowers 6. Improving the Standard of Vigilance Work 7. Computerisation of Commission’s Work 8. Modern Preventive Vigilance Framework 9. International Cooperation. etc.[21]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d "CVC - Introduction". cvc.gov.in. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  2. ^ http://cvc.nic.in/vcrajiv.pdf
  3. ^ http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-09-30/news/54475275_1_central-vigilance-commissioner-the-cvc-jm-garg
  4. ^ http://cvc.gov.in/cvc_back.htm
  5. ^ http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-02-27/news/47739896_1_cvc-pradeep-kumar-rajiv-central-vigilance-commissioner
  6. ^ I De on Administrative Law, Tripathi(1986)
  7. ^ http://www.cvc.nic.in/spp_cbi_11072011.pdf Released 31 May 2011, oldest case from 30/04/10 relates to Rakesh Mohan, (IAS 78 batch), ex-CEO, Delhi Jal Board
  8. ^ http://cvc.nic.in/introduction.html
  9. ^ 121 officers named in 2011 and in 2009
  10. ^ a b c "CVC Act". CVC. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c "CVC - ORGANISATION". CVC. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  12. ^ "CVC - How to apply under RTI Act". Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "Make Lokpal, Lokayukta apex, independent agencies". The Hindu. 2 Sep 2010. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  14. ^ "What is the Staff Strength of CVC?". indiacurrentaffairs.org. August 24, 2011. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Functions and Powers of the Central Vigilance Commission". CVC.gov.in. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  16. ^ India Against Corruption (Apr 6, 2011). "What Is Wrong With Our Anti-Corruption Systems?". Outlook India. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  17. ^ http://www.dailypioneer.com/290222/Controversial-appointment-of-CVC-reaches-apex-court.html
  18. ^ http://www.indianexpress.com/news/supreme-court-strikes-down-p-j-thomas-as-vigilance-chief/757204/ Supreme Court strikes down P J Thomas as vigilance chief
  19. ^ "Thomas Resigns As CVC". Outlook India. March 3, 2011. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  20. ^ . Jul 21, 2010 http://www.indianexpress.com/news/whistleblowers-who-went-to-cvc-suffered-stem-rot-excji-to-sonia/649640/0.  quote: "every whistleblower who approached CVC came to grief, while culprits remain, by and large, unharmed to this day."
  21. ^ http://cvc.nic.in/newinit16092010.htm

External links

  • Official website - http://www.cvc.nic.in
  • The CVC Act, 2003 - http://cvc.gov.in/cvcact.pdf
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