The Government of India set up the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in 1964 on recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption headed by K. Santhanam. It is an independent body for the prevention of corruption in the Central government. CVC is an apex vigilance institution in India, free of control from any executive authority, and monitors all vigilance activities under the Central government. It also advises the Central government organizations and Authorities in planning, implementing, reviewing, and reforming their vigilance work.
On the recommendations of the K. Santhanam Committee, the Central Vigilance Commission was set up in February 1964 by the executive order of the Central government to address governmental corruption. Originally, CVC was neither a Statutory body nor a Constitutional body. But, in 2003, the Indian Parliament enacted a law, the Central Vigilance Commission Act, to provide Statutory status to the CVC.
In 2004, the government also designated CVC as an agency, which receives and acts on the complaints or disclosure of any allegation of corruption from the whistleblowers under the “Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informers (PIDPI)” resolution, popularly known as “Whistle Blowers” Resolution.
Composition of CVC
- The CVC is a multi-member body comprising:
- Central Vigilance Commissioner as chairperson,
- two Vigilance Commissioners as members (maximum number of vigilance commissioners is two).
- President of India appoints the Central Vigilance Commissioner and the Vigilance Commissioners, by warrant under his hand and seal, on the recommendation of a three-member committee consisting of:
- Prime Minister as its head.
- Union Minister of Home Affairs.
- Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha.
Term of Office
The tenure of the Central Vigilance Commissioner and the Vigilance Commissioners is four years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. After they retire, they are not eligible for further employment under the Central or State government.
The President of India can remove the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner from the office under the following circumstances:
- If he is adjudged as Insolvent; or
- If he is unfit to continue in office because of the infirmity of mind or body; or
- If he engages in any paid employment outside his official duties during his term of office; or
- If he has been convicted of an offence that involves moral turpitude (in the opinion of the Central government); or
- If he is found interested in financial driven activity or other interests which can likely affect his official functions prejudicially.
In addition, the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner also be removed by the President on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity. However, in such cases, the President has to refer the matter to the Supreme Court of India for inquiry. After inquiry, if the Supreme Court upholds the cause of removal and advises, the President can remove him.
Organization of the CVC
Central Vigilance Commission has its Secretariat, Chief Technical Examiners’ (CTE) wing, and wing of Commissioners for Departmental Inquiries (CDIs).
The Secretariat of CVC consists of a Secretary, Joint Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries, Under Secretaries, including office staff.
Chief Technical Examiners’ (CTE) wing
The Cheif Technical Examiners’ Organization constitutes the technical wing of the CVC, which consists of Chief Engineers (designated as Chief Technical Examiners) and supporting engineering staff. Its main functions are as follow:
- Technical audit of the construction works of the Governmental organizations from the vigilance angle.
- Investigating specific cases of complaints related to construction works.
- Assisting the Central Villigance Commissioner and Chief Vigilance Officers in vigilance cases involving technical matters.
- Assisting CBI in their investigation involving technical matters.
Commissioners for Departmental Inquiries (CDIs)
The Commissioners for Departmental Inquiries (CDIs) acts as Inquiry officers. They conduct oral inquires in departmental proceedings initiated against the Public servants.
Functions of the CVC
- The CVC inquires or investigates the matters wherein a public servant being an employee of the Central Government or its authorities commits an offense under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
- It also inquires or investigates any complaint against any official (belonging to the below-mentioned category of officials) who commits an offense under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988:
- Members of All-India Services serving in the Union and the Group ‘A’ officers of the Central Government.
- The specified level of officers of the authorities of the Central Government.
- The CVC exercises superintendence over the functioning of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (CBI) in cases related to the investigation of offenses under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
- It also gives directions to the Delhi Special Police Establishment (CBI) in investigative cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
- It reviews the progress of the investigations conducted by the Delhi Special Police Establishment in cases related to the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
- The Commission reviews the progress of those applications which are pending with the competent authorities for sanction of prosecution under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
- It exercises superintendence over the vigilance administration in the ministries of the Central Government or its authorities.
- It provides advice to the Central government and its authorities on such matters referred to it by them.
- It undertakes or causes an inquiry into complaints received under the Whistle Blower Resolution and recommends appropriate action.
- The Central government consults the CVC in making the rules and regulations governing the vigilance & disciplinary matters related to the members of Central Services and All-India Services.
- The CVC has been notified as a specific authority to receive information related to suspicious transactions under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
- The Central Vigilance Commissioner and two Vigilance Commissioners are part of the Section Committee, which recommends the Central Government for the appointment of the Director of Enforcement.
- CVC is also part of the Selection Committee, which is responsible for recommending officers for appointments to the posts above the level of Deputy Director of Enforcement.
In 2013, the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013 amended both the Central Vigilance Act 2003 and the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act 1946, making the following changes to the functions of the CVC:
- The Central Government shall appoint the Director of Prosecution under the Directorate of Prosecution in CBI on the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commission.
- The Central Vigilance Commissioner and two Vigilance Commissioners are part of the Section Committee, which recommends the Central Government for appointment of the officers to the posts of the level of SP and above in CBI except for the Director of CBI.
- The CVC conducts the preliminary inquiry into complaints referred to it by Lokpal in respect of officers and officials of Groups A, B, C & D.
Working of the CVC
The Central Vigilance Commission conducts its proceedings at its headquarters in New Delhi. It has the power to regulate its own procedure. The CVC also has the power of a civil court, and its proceedings have judicial character. It may call for information or report from the Central Government or any of its authorities so as to enable it to exercise general supervision over the vigilance and anti-corruption work in them.
The CVC tender advice to the Central Government or its authorities on such matters as referred to it by them. The Central Government or its authorities shall consider the advice of CVC and take appropriate action. But, if the Central Government or its authorities does not agree with the CVC advice, it shall communicate to CVC regarding the reasons (to be recorded in writing).
The Central Vigilance Commission has no investigation wing of its own. For investigation work, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) depends upon the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Chief Vigilance Officers (CVO) of Central Organizations.
Chief Vigilance Officers (CVO)
All departments/organizations in the Union Government have a Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) who is the head of the Vigilance Division of the organization concerned. The CVO assists and advises the Secretary of Head of Office in all matters related to vigilance. He provides a link between his organization and the Central Vigilance Commission. The CVO performs the following functions:
- Collect intelligence about the corrupt practices of the employees of his organization.
- Investigates verifiable allegations reported to him.
- Process the investigation reports for further consideration of the disciplinary authority concerned.
- Refers matters to the Central Vigilance Commission for advice wherever necessary.
Reports of the CVC
The Central Vigilance Commission has to submit a report on its performance to the President of India annually. The President further places this report before each House of Parliament.
Jurisdiction of the CVC
The Jurisdiction of the CVC extends to:
|1.||Members of All Indian Services serving in the Union, Group A officers of the Central government.|
|2.||Public Sector Bank officers of the rank of Scale V and above.|
|3.||Officers in Grade D and above in Reserve Bank of India, NABARD, and SIDBI.|
|4.||Chief Executives & Executives on Board & other officers of E-8 and above in Schedule ‘A’ & ‘B’ Public Sector Undertakings.|
|5.||Chief Executives & Executives on Board & other officers of E-7 and above in Schedule ‘C’ & ‘D’ Public Sector Undertakings.|
|6.||Managers and above in the General Insurance Companies.|
|7.||Senior Divisional Managers and above in the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC).|
|8.||Officers drawing a salary of Rs. 8700/- per month (pre-revised) and above on Central government D. A. pattern, as may be revised from time to time, in societies or local authorities owned or controlled by the Central government.|