There are 3 principal actors at the national level in the fight against corruption: the Lokpal, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Central Vigilance Commission is the apex vigilance institution, free of control from any executive authority, monitoring all vigilance activity under the Central Government and advising various authorities in Central Government organizations in planning, executing, reviewing and reforming their vigilance work.
- Background: The CVC was set up by the Government in February 1964 on the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption, headed by K. Santhanam.
- The Parliament enacted the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003 (CVC Act) conferring statutory status on the CVC.
- It is an independent body which is only responsible to the Parliament.
- Composition: It is a multi-member Commission consisting of a Central Vigilance Commissioner (Chairperson) and not more than 2 Vigilance Commissioners (Member).
- The Central Vigilance Commissioner and the Vigilance Commissioners are appointed by the President on the recommendations of a Committee consisting of the Prime Minister (Chairperson), the Minister of Home Affairs (Member) and the Leader of the Opposition in the House of the People (Member).
- Tenure: The term of office of the Central Vigilance Commissioner and the Vigilance Commissioners is 4 years from the date on which they enter their office or till they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
- Role and Functions: Exercise superintendence over the functioning of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (CBI) insofar as it relates to the investigation of offenses under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
- The CVC receives complaints on corruption or misuse of office and recommends appropriate action. Following institutions, bodies, or a person can approach CVC: Central government, Lokpal and Whistleblowers.
- CVC has no investigation wing of its own as it 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.