Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is the top vigilance institution in the country. Read here to know more about the CVC.
Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) was mainly created to address governmental corruption and to advise the central government in the field of surveillance.
CVC is free of control from any executive authority, monitors all vigilance activity under the Central Government, and advises various authorities in Central Government organizations in planning, executing, reviewing, and reforming their vigilant work.
The CVC is not controlled by any Ministry/Department. It is an independent body that is only responsible to the Parliament.
The Commission consists of:
- A Central Vigilance Commissioner – Chairperson;
- Not more than two Vigilance Commissioners – Members
President of India appoints CVC members by warrant under his hand and seal after the recommendation by a three-member committee of:
- Prime Minister
- Minister of Home Affairs (MHA)
- Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha
The term of the Office of the vigilance commissioners is four years or if they attain 65 years of age (whichever is earlier)
After they retire, they are not eligible for reappointment in any central or state government agency.
History of Central Vigilance Commission
The Government set up the Central Vigilance Commission in February 1964 on the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption, headed by Shri K. Santhanam, to advise and guide Central Government agencies in the field of vigilance.
The Central Vigilance Commission was made a multi-member Commission with statutory status with effect from 25th August 1998 through the promulgation of an Ordinance by the President.
The CVC Bill was passed by both the houses of Parliament in 2003 and the President gave his assent on September 11, 2003.
Thus the Central Vigilance Commission Act 2003 came into effect.
In 2004, the Government of India authorized the Central Vigilance Commission as the ‘Designated Agency’ to receive written complaints for disclosure on any allegation of corruption or misuse of office and recommend appropriate action.
Mission of CVC
- Creation of credible deterrence against corruption through prompt enforcement of anti-corruption laws and regulations
- Undertaking effective preventive measures to minimize the scope of corruption.
- Raising public awareness to inculcate ethical values and reduce society’s tolerance toward corruption.
Functions and powers of the Central Vigilance Commission
Under the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003 the roles and functions of the CVC are:
- To give directions and exercise superintendence over the functioning of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (CBI) by the investigation of offenses under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
- To inquire or cause an inquiry or investigation to be made on a reference by the Central Government.
- To inquire or cause an inquiry or investigation to be made into any complaint received against any official belonging to such category of officials specified in sub-section 2 of Section 8 of the CVC Act, 2003.
- To review the progress of investigations conducted by the DSPE into offenses alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 or an offense under the CrPC.
- To review the progress of the applications pending with the competent authorities for sanction of prosecution under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
- To tender advice to the Central Government and its organizations on matters referred to by them.
- To exercise superintendence over the vigilance administrations of the various Central Government Ministries, Departments, and Organizations of the Central Government.
- It has all the powers of a Civil court while conducting any inquiry.
- To respond to Central Government on mandatory consultation with the Commission before making any rules or regulations governing the vigilance or disciplinary matters relating to the persons appointed to the public services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or to members of the All India Services.
- The Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) is the Chairperson and the Vigilance Commissioners are members of the Committee, on whose recommendations, the Central Government appoints the Director of Enforcement.
- The Committee for the appointment of the Director of Enforcement is also empowered to recommend, after consultation with the Director of Enforcement appointment of officers to the posts of the level of Deputy Director and above in the Directorate of Enforcement.
- The Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) is also the Chairperson and the Vigilance Commissioners are members of the Committee empowered to recommend after consultation with the Director (CBI), the appointment of officers to the post about the level of SP and above except Director.
- The committee can also recommend the extension or curtailment of the tenure of such officers in the DSPE (CBI).
Commission’s Jurisdiction under CVC Act
- Members of All India Service serving in connection with the affairs of the Union and Group A officers of the Central Government
- Officers of the rank of Scale V and above in the Public Sector Banks
- Officers in Grade D and above in Reserve Bank of India, NABARD, and SIDBI
- Chief Executives and Executives on the Board and other officers of E-8 and above in Schedule ‘A’ and ‘B’ Public Sector Undertakings
- Chief Executives and Executives on the Board and other officers of E-7 and above in Schedule ‘C’ and ‘D’ Public Sector Undertakings
- Managers and above in General Insurance Companies
- Senior Divisional Managers and above in Life Insurance Corporations
- Officers drawing a salary of Rs.8700/- p.m. and above on Central Government D.A. pattern, as on the date of the notification and as may be revised from time to time in Societies and other Local Authorities
The CVC receives complaints about corruption or misuse of office and recommends appropriate action.
Following institutions, bodies, or a person can approach CVC:
- Central government
Since 2004, the commission receives complaints under Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informers’ Resolution (PIDPI), also called Whistleblowers’ Resolution.
But the CVC is not an investigating agency.
- It gets the investigation is done through the CBI or chief vigilance officers (CVO) in government offices.
Recent reforms in CVC
In 2021, the CVC modified the guidelines related to the transfer and postings of officials in the vigilance units of government organizations by restricting their tenures to three years in one place.
The Central Vigilance Commission is often limited in its powers as it is treated as an advisory body with no power to register cases. Even though it is an independent agency, it lacks the resources and power to take action on complaints.
Such shortcomings of the systems need to be addressed to curb the menace of corruption in the rapidly growing economy.