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  • 04 August, 2022

  • 10 Min Read



Vigilance Commissioner Suresh N. Patel was sworn in as the Central vigilance commissioner by President Droupadi Murmur.

Mr. Patel has also administered the oath of office to former intelligence Bureau Chief Arvind Kumar and Praveen Kumar as the vigilance commissioner.

About CVC

  • Central Vigilance Commission is the top vigilance institution in the country which was mainly created to address governmental corruption and to advise the central government in the field of surveillance.
  • It is free of control from any executive authority, monitoring all vigilance activity in the nation under the Central Government and advising various authorities in Central Government organizations in planning, executing, reviewing, and reforming their vigilance work.
  • The CVC is not under controlled of any Ministry/Department. It is an independent body that is only responsible to the Parliament.
  • It was set up by the Government in February 1964 on the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption which is headed by Shri K. Santhanam. In 2003 later on, the Parliament enacted CVC Act giving statutory status to the CVC.

Appointment of CVC

The President of India appoints CVC members by warrant under his hand and seal after the recommendation by a three-member committee which is consist 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.

Removal of central vigilance member

The CVC members can be removed in the following circumstances:

  • if the member is adjudged as an insolvent,
  • if the central government holds him responsible for an offense involving immoral activity,
  • if he becomes a part of the office of profit,
  • if he is declared unfit by reason of infirmity of mind or body by the President,
  • CVC members can also be removed by the President on the ground of proven misbehavior.

Functions of CVC?

The CVC receives complaints about corruption or the misuse of office and also recommends appropriate action. Following institutions, bodies, or a person can approach CVC:

  • Central government
  • Lokpal
  • Whistleblowers

A whistleblower is a person, who could be an employee of a company, a government agency, or an outsider disclosing information to the public or some higher authority about any wrongdoing, which could be in the form of fraud or corruption.

  • CVC is not an investigating agency as it does not have an investigation body. The CVC either gets the investigation done through the CBI or chief vigilance officers (CVO) in the government offices.
  • It is also empowered to inquire into the offenses alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 by certain categories of public servants.
  • Its annual report gives the details of the work done by the commission and points to systemic failures which lead to corruption in the government departments.
  • Improvements and preventive measures are also suggested in the report.

Structure of Governance of CVC

  • The Central Vigilance Commission has its own Secretariat, Chief Technical Examiners' Wing (CTE), and a wing of Commissioners for Departmental Inquiries (CDI). For investigation work, CVC has to depend on two external sources that are the CBI and Chief Vigilance Officers (CVO).

Integrity Index Development (IID)

IID reflects the transparent, accountable, and efficient governance of public organizations.

CVC has appointed the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad to undertake a research-based approach to create an integrity index that various organizations can use to measure themselves and which will evolve with changing needs.

What about the Investigations done by the CVC?

  • CVC has no investigation wing of its own as it mainly depends on the CBI and the Chief Vigilance Officers (CVO) of central organizations, while CBI has its own investigation wing drawing its powers from Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.

Chief Vigilance Officers (CVO)

  • Vigilance administration in the Departments or the Organisations is headed by the Chief Vigilance Officers (CVO) and the Commission’s activities concerning inquiry or causing inquiry are supported by/carried out through the CVOs.
  • Complaints received in the Commission are scrutinized thoroughly and wherever specific and verifiable allegations of a vigilance nature are noticed, the complaints are forwarded to the CVO/CBI to conduct an inquiry/investigation into the matter and report to the Commission expeditiously.
  • CVOs in all Departments/organizations are appointed after prior consultation with the Commission.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

  • CBI works under the overall supervision of CVC in matters related to the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
  • The important role of the CBI is the prevention of corruption and maintaining integrity in administration.
  • The CVC act provides for the security of two-year tenure in office for the CBI Director.
  • The CVC heads the Committee for the selection of the Director of CBI and other officers of the rank of SP and above in the CBI (DSPE-An investigation wing of CBI).

Challenges of the CVC

  • Though CVC is an advisory body, the government is not bound to act according to the advice of the commission
  • The CV commissioner has no adjudicatory function as such in a disciplinary proceeding against the government official, even it is not competent for giving sanction for criminal prosecution of the offense committed by the public servant while discharging their official function.
  • CVC never investigates itself but depends on the report of the CBI.
  • Although CVC is “relatively independent” in its functioning, it neither has the resources nor the power to take action on complaints of corruption.

What are the Recent Reforms made in CVC?

  • In April 2021, the CVC modified the guidelines about the transfer and posting of officials in the vigilance units of government organizations, restricting their tenure to three years in one place.
  • The tenure of personnel in a vigilance unit in one place including lower-level functionaries, should be limited only to three years.
  • The tenure may be extended to three more years, although at a different place of posting.
  • The personnel, who have completed more than five years in vigilance units at the same place, should be shifted on a top priority basis

CVC vigilance awareness week

It is observed in the month of October, the week includes Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth anniversary which is on October 31.

The motive of vigilance week is:

  • Take an integrity pledge by all the government ministries and organizations.
  • Spread the word on the prevention of corruption across the nation.
  • Establish integrity clubs in schools and colleges.
  • Aware gram sabhas to sensitize the rural citizen.

Source: The Hindu

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