Important Institutions: CVC

The Central Vigilance Commission is the leading vigilance organization independent of all executive authorities. It oversees all vigilance activity by the Central Government and guides various authorities within Central Government organizations on how to plan, carry out, evaluate, and reform their vigilance work.

According to the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption, led by Shri K. Santhanam, the CVC was established by the Government in February 1964. The CVC Act was passed by the Parliament in 2003, giving the CVC statutory status.

 

What Purposes Does CVC Serve?

  • The CVC reviews complaints of misconduct in office or corruption and suggests the necessary course of action. 
  • The following organizations, groups, or individuals may contact CVC:
    • Central Government
    • Lokpal
    • Whistleblowers
  • It is not an inquiry-based organization. Chief vigilance officers (CVO) in government agencies or the CBI are the two ways the CVC gets the investigation done.
  • It is permitted to look into alleged violations of the 1988 Prevention of Corruption Act by particular classes of public employees.
  • In its yearly report, the Commission provides an overview of its activities and identifies structural flaws that promote corruption in government agencies.
  • The report also makes recommendations for enhancements and preventative measures.

What is the Background of CVC?

  • To advise and direct Central Government agencies in the area of vigilance, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) was established by the Government in 1964 based on the recommendations of the Santhanam Committee.
  • In its decision in Vineet Narain & Others v. Union of India (1997), the Supreme Court provided guidelines regarding the CVC's prominent role.
    • In this case, the Central Bureau of Investigation's function was criticized, and the court ordered that CVC be given supervisory authority over CBI.
  • The "Central Vigilance Commission Act 2003" was passed, giving the Commission legal status.
  • The Central Vigilance Commissioner (Chairperson) and up to two additional Vigilance Commissioners (Members), who the President will appoint, made up the Commission's multi-member structure following the passage of the CVC Act in 2003.
  • In a Writ Petition brought after the 2003 murder of whistleblower Shri Satyendra Dubey, the Supreme Court ordered establishing a system for handling whistleblower complaints until a law was passed.

 

  • The Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informers Resolution (PIDPI), 2004, was announced by the Indian Government in response to that directive.
    • The Central Vigilance Commission was designated as the agency to receive complaints or disclosures of any allegations of corruption or misuse of office from whistleblowers in what is commonly referred to as the "Whistle Blowers" Resolution.
    • To protect whistleblowers from being victimized, the Commission has been entrusted with maintaining the complainant's secret identity while filing a complaint under the PIDPI Resolution.
    • The Whistle Blowers' Protection Act, 2014, was enacted by the Central Government in Parliament as a result of the Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Person Making the Disclosures (PIDPPMD) Bill 2010, which was renamed "The Whistle Blowers' Protection Bill, 2011."
  • The Government has expanded the Commission's roles and authority through subsequent ordinances and laws.
  • In 2013, the Parliament passed the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013.
    • By amending the CVC Act of 2003, the Commission has the authority to look into complaints that the Lokpal referred to and conduct further investigation.
  • During its evaluation of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas and Other Related Law (Amendment) Bill, 2014, the Commission provided recommendations to the Department-Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law, and Justice regarding the issue of jurisdictional overlap between the CVC Act and The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act.

What is the Structure of Governance of CVC?

The Chief Technical Examiners' Wing (CTE), a wing of Commissioners for Departmental Inquiries (CDI), and a secretariat all belong to the Central Vigilance Commission. CVC must rely on the Chief Vigilance Officers (CVO) and the CBI as external sources for their investigative work.

The Central Vigilance Commission

  • A multi-member commission consists of a Central Vigilance Commissioner (Chairperson) and no more than two additional Vigilance Commissioners (Members).
  • The nomination of the Central Vigilance Commissioner and the Vigilance Commissioners is recommended to the President by a committee that includes the Prime Minister (Chairperson), the Minister of Home Affairs (Member), and the Leader of the Opposition in the House of People (Member).
  • A four-year tenure is set down for the Central Vigilance Commissioner and the Vigilance Commissioners, beginning on the day they are appointed and concluding when they reach the age of 65, whichever comes first.

Secretariat

  • The Secretariat comprises an Under Secretary, a Secretary, four Additional Secretaries, thirty Directors/Deputy Secretaries (including two Officers on Special Duty), four Under Secretaries, and office staff.

Chief Technical Examiners' Organisation (CTEO)

  • Two Chief Engineers who have been designated as Chief Technical Examiners work for the Chief Technical Examiner's Organization, which is the Central Vigilance Commission's technical wing. Other engineers support them. This organization's primary responsibilities are:

 

  • a vigilance-focused technical audit of government organizations' construction projects; investigating specific complaints in connection with construction projects;
  • providing the CBI with assistance in their technical investigation needs and in assessing Delhi properties;
  • And providing guidance/assistance in vigilance cases involving complex issues to the Commission and Chief Vigilance Officers.
  • In 2017, CTEO conducted in-depth analyses of 66 procurement cases involving 52 organizations. Numerous organizations underwent thorough examinations, including
    • Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC),
    • Central University of Punjab, Airports Authority of India (AAI),
    • North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC),
    • Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC),
    • Bank of Baroda (BoB)
    • Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRT&H),
    • Central Public Works Department (CPWD),
    • All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS),

Exactly how do the CVC's investigations turn out?

Since it relies on the CBI and the Chief Vigilance Officers (CVO) of central organizations, the CVC does not have a separate investigation division. In contrast, the CBI has a separate division for investigations governed by the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.

Chief Vigilance Officers (CVO)

  • The Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO), who oversees vigilance administration in departments and organizations, supports and executes the Commission's activities involving inquiry or causing inquiry through the CVOs.
  • When specific and verifiable allegations of a vigilance nature are found, the complaints are carefully examined by the Commission and sent to the CVO/CBI, which will promptly investigate and report its findings to the Commission.
  • All Departments and Organizations appoint CVOs after first consulting the Commission.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

  • In matters pertaining to the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, CBI operates under the general supervision of the CVC.
  • The CBI plays a crucial role in preventing corruption and upholding administrative integrity.
  • According to the CVC act, the CBI Director is guaranteed a two-year term in office.
  • The CVC is in charge of choosing the Director of the CBI and other CBI officers with the rank of SP and higher (DSPE-An investigation branch of the CBI).

Which Acts Give CVC Jurisdictional Authority?

CVC Act 2003

  • Group A officers of the Central Government and members of the All India Service work on Union-related matters
  • officers in the Public Sector Banks with the rank of Scale V and higher
  • Reserve Bank of India, NABARD, and SIDBI officers in Grade D and higher
  • Executives on the Board, Chief Executives, and other officers in the E-8 and above tiers of Schedule 'A' and 'B' public sector undertakings
  • Executives in positions E-7 and above in Schedule "C" and "D" public sector undertakings, including chief executives, executives on the board, and other officers
  • Supervisory positions and above in general insurance companies
  • Life Insurance Corporations senior divisional managers and above
  • Officers in Societies and other Local Authorities currently receive a salary of at least Rs. 8,700 per month on the Central Government's D.A. (Dearness Allowance) pattern and any future revisions.

What changes have been made to CVC recently?

  • The CVC changed the rules governing the posting and transfer of officials in the vigilance divisions of government organizations in April 2021, limiting their time in one location to three years.
  • Lower-level functionaries in a vigilance unit should have a maximum tenure of three years in one place.
  • The tenure can be extended for three years but with a different posting location.
  • On a top-priority basis, personnel who have served in vigilance units for more than five years at the same location should be transferred.

What are the CVC's limitations?

  • As a body that only serves as an advisory and lacks the authority to file charges against public servants or order the CBI to launch investigations into any officer with the rank of Joint Secretary or higher, CVC is frequently viewed as a helpless organization.
  • Despite being "relatively independent" in how it operates, the CVC lacks the resources and the authority to act on complaints of corruption.

Conclusion

India's economy has recently grown to be progressive and dynamic. Huge investments were made in the country's infrastructure, as well as in retail, construction, and many other government sectors, as a result of the economy's rapid growth in all areas. The economy's rapid growth brings on the challenges facing CVCs in the fight against the corruption threat.