Central Vigilance Commission was established in 1964 to eliminate corruption in government agencies or their functioning. In this article, we will discuss the Central Vigilance Commission in a simple and easy way, and understand its various important aspects;
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Central Vigilance Commission
Background of Central Vigilance Commission
In 1962, an anti-corruption committee was formed by the then Union cabinet minister Lal Bahadur Shastri under the chairmanship of K. Santhanam. On the recommendation of this committee, the Central Bureau of Investigation was also established. And in 1964, by passing a resolution by the Government of India, the Central Vigilance Commission was also established to provide advice and guidance to the central government agencies in the field of vigilance and to prevent corruption.
Since it was formed under a resolution, it was neither a statutory body nor a constitutional body at that time. Later on, this commission was given the status of an independent statutory authority through the Central Vigilance Commission Act 2003 .
The vision of this organization is to fight corruption and ensure integrity in public administration.
And its mission is – To promote integrity in governance processes:-
(1) To create a barrier against corruption through prompt enforcement of anti-corruption laws and regulations.
(2) To outline effective preventive measures to reduce the scope of corruption.
(3) Raising public awareness to inculcate moral values and reduce society’s tolerance towards corruption.
By the Government of India’s resolution on “Public Interest Disclosure and Informant Protection” of April 2004, the Government of India received written complaints regarding disclosure of any allegations of corruption or misuse of office and took appropriate action. Authorized the Central Vigilance Commission as a “Designated Agency” to make recommendations .
Overall, the Central Vigilance Commission has been conceptualized as an apex Central Vigilance Institution which is free from the control of any executive authority and supervises all vigilance activities under the Central Government. Apart from this, it also advises various authorities in Central Government Organizations in planning, executing, reviewing and improving their vigilance functions.
It is an independent body which is directly responsible to the Parliament, hence it is not required to report to any ministry.
Composition of Central Vigilance Commission
The Central Vigilance Commission is a multi-member body consisting of a Central Vigilance Commissioner as its Chairman and two or less other Vigilance Commissioners. They are appointed by the President on the recommendation of a three-member committee . The head of this committee is the Prime Minister and other members are the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Union Home Minister.
Their tenure is for 4 years or till 65 years, whichever is earlier. After their tenure, they are not eligible for any post in the Central or State Government.
In addition, the President may, at any time, remove the Central Vigilance Commissioner or other Vigilance Commissioner from his office under the following circumstances;
(1) if he is declared bankrupt, or
(2) in the eyes of the Central Government, if he has been found guilty of any offense on the ground of moral turpitude, or
(3) If, during his tenure, he holds any office of profit outside his jurisdiction, or
(4) According to the President, if he is incapable of acting due to mental or physical reasons, or,
(5) If he derives any pecuniary or other benefit so as to prejudice the work of the Commission.
Apart from this, the President can also remove the Central Vigilance Commissioner and other Commissioners on the ground of their misconduct and incapacity, but in this case the President will have to send the matter to the Supreme Court for investigation. If after investigation the Supreme Court finds these allegations to be true, then on its advice the President can remove them from office.
The salary, allowances and other conditions of service of the Central Vigilance Commissioner are similar to those of the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission , but after appointment, no unfavourable change can be made in them.
The Central Vigilance Commission has its own Secretariat, Chief Technical Examiner Section and a Departmental Inquiry Commissioner Section.
The Secretariat consists of one Secretary of the level of Additional Secretary to the Government of India, four officers of the level of Joint Secretary, 30 officers of the level of Director or Deputy Secretary (including two Officers on Special Duty), four Under Secretary and office staff.
Chief technical examiner section
It consists of two engineers of the level of Chief Engineer (designated as Chief Technical Examiner) and supporting engineering staff. The main functions assigned to this organization are:
- To conduct technical audit of construction works of government organizations with a view to vigilance
- Investigating specific cases of complaints related to construction works
- To assist the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in investigations involving technical matters and valuation of properties in Delhi, and to advise/assist the Commission and Chief Vigilance Officers in vigilance matters involving technical matters.
Departmental Inquiry Commissioner
The Departmental Inquiry Commissioners act as the Inquiry Officer for conducting oral inquiries into departmental proceedings initiated against public servants. There are 14 posts of Departmental Inquiry Commissioners, out of which 11 posts are of Director level and 03 posts are of Deputy Secretary level.
Vigilance Units in Ministries
All Ministries/Departments of the Central Government have a Chief Vigilance Officer who heads the Vigilance Division of the organization concerned and assists and advises the Secretary and Head of Office in all matters relating to Vigilance.
He is a link between the concerned institution and the Central Vigilance Commission and on the other hand there is also a link between the concerned institution and the CBI.
Powers and Functions of Central Vigilance Commission
One thing to remember here is that the Central Vigilance Commission is not an investigative agency. This is the investigating agency. The CVC gets the investigation done either through the CBI or through the departmental Chief Vigilance Officers. And secondly, the CVC orders inquiry into the affairs of the officers of the Central Government Departments. In this way its functions and powers are as follows –
1. To inquire into any matter or matters on the direction of the Central Government in which an offense under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 has been committed by an employee of the Central Government or its authority.
2. To inquire into any complaint against officers belonging to the following categories in which he is accused of any offense under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988:
(A) Group ‘A’ employees of the Government of India and officers of the All India Services; And
(b) officers of the specified level of the authorities of the Central Government.
(c) Government companies, societies and other local authorities owned or controlled by the Central Government;
3. To supervise the functioning of the CBI relating to investigation of offenses under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 and to direct the CBI in matters relating to investigation of offences.
4. To review the investigation conducted by the Special Delhi Police Force into the offenses committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
5. To review the pending applications given to the concerned authorities for prosecution under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
6. To advise the Central Government and its organizations on such matters as may be referred by them to the Commission.
7. To oversee the vigilance administration of Central Government Ministries and Authorities.
8. The Central Vigilance Commission has been empowered under the Money Laundering Prevention Act 2002 to receive information relating to suspicious acts or transactions.
The Commission shall have all the powers of a civil court while conducting any inquiry and the Central Government shall consult the Vigilance Commission for making rules and regulations in vigilance and disciplinary matters relating to the Central Services and the All India Services.
Under the Lokpal and Lokyukt Act of 2013, amendments were made in the Central Vigilance Commission Act 2003 and the Delhi Special Establishment Act 1946 and made some changes in the functions of the Central Vigilance Commission, such as
The CVC can conduct preliminary inquiry into complaints sent by the Ombudsman against the officers of Group A, B, C and D. Preliminary investigation reports (in respect of Groups A and B) of such cases are sent to the Lokpal.
In addition, as per the mandate, the Commission will further investigate the matters referred by the Lokpal. These tests will be about Group C and D officers. The Commission will decide the further course of action on the rights found guilty in the investigation.
Functioning of Central Vigilance Commission
The Central Vigilance Commission conducts its proceedings from its headquarters at New Delhi. We have read above that it has all the powers like a civil court, it means these following powers –
(a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath.
(b) the discovery and production of any document.
(c) Receiving evidence on affidavit.
(d) requisitioning any public record or requisitioning a copy thereof from any court or office.
(e) to do such other work as may be prescribed.
The Central Vigilance Commission, after receiving the report of the inquiry conducted by any investigating agency on its instructions, advises the Government or its authority to take further action.
The Central Government or its authorities take necessary steps after considering the advice of the CVC. If the Central Government or its authorities do not agree with any advice, it has to give reasons in writing to the Central Vigilance Commission.
The Central Vigilance Commission has to report its annual activities to the President. The President presents this report to each House of Parliament.
central vigilance commission pledge
If you want to end corruption and want to stop yourself from indulging in such activities, then you can take a pledge by visiting the given link. In return, you will also get a certificate. Link – https://pledge.cvc.nic.in/
So here it is, overall Central Vigilance Commission, there is another topic related to this, Whistle blower will understand it in a separate article. The links of other commissions are being given below, understand that also.