Context- The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has modified the guidelines pertaining to the transfer and posting of its officials in the vigilance units of government organisations, restricting their tenure to three years at one place. The tenure may be extended to three more years, albeit at a different place of posting.
- The CVC, in its order has mentioned undue long stay of an official in a vigilance department has the potential of developing vested interests, apart from giving rise to unnecessary complaints or allegations.
- The move has been made in order to emphasize the importance of the issue and to ensure transparency, objectivity and uniformity in approach of the Commission.
- As per the modification, the personnel can have two continuous postings in vigilance units but at different places of posting and each posting can be for a maximum period of three years.
- Personnel who have been working for over three years at one place should be transferred in phases, with priority given to those who have served for the maximum period. Those having completed over five years at one place should be shifted on top priority basis.
- As per the Commission the move will be implemented in phases. The first phase of transfer/posting has to be completed by May 31, 2021 and the entire exercise of transferring all the personnel in question should be completed by June 30.
- As per the order by the Commission, after the transfer from the vigilance unit, there would be a compulsory cooling off period of three years for the concerned personnel before they could be considered again for posting in the unit.
- Personnel, who have completed three years in the vigilance unit of an organisation, could be considered for transfer on deputation basis in the unit of another organisation, subject to the laid down rules.
Central Vigilance Commission
- The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is the apex vigilance institution in India that is free of control from any executive authority, monitors all vigilance activity under the Central Government and advises various authorities in Central Government organizations in planning, executing, reviewing and reforming their vigilance work.
- Vigilance- A process to ensure clean and prompt administrative action to achieve efficiency and effectiveness of the employees in particular and the organization in general, as lack of Vigilance can lead to waste, losses and economic decline.
- The CVC was established by the Government in 1964. This was done on the basis of the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption, headed by Shri K. Santhanam. In 2003, the Parliament enacted the CVC Act to confer statutory status on the CVC.
- It is not controlled by any Ministry/Department of the government and It is an independent body responsible only to the Parliament of India.
Functions of CVC
- It receives complaints on corruption or to misuse of office and recommends appropriate actions. the institutions, bodies or persons who can approach the CVC include:
- Central Government
- Whistle Blowers
- Since it is not an investigating agency, it gets the investigation done either through the CBI or through the Chief Vigilance Officers (CVO) in the government offices.
- It has the power to inquire into offences that are alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), 1988 by certain categories of public servants.
- It presents an annual report that gives the details of the work done by the commission and points to systemic failures which lead to corruption in government departments. The report also suggests Improvements and preventive measures.
- The CVC consists of a central vigilance commissioner and not more than two other vigilance commissioners.
- These members are appointed by the President of India on the recommendations of a committee that consists of the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and Leader of the Opposition (LoP) in Lok Sabha (if there is no LoP in the Lok Sabha, then the leader of the single largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha is a part of the Committee).
- The term of the Chief Vigilance Officer and other vigilance officers is 4 years or 65 years, whichever is earlier.
- The Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner can be removed from his office only by an order of the President of India on grounds of proved misbehavior or incapacity after the Supreme Court, on a reference made to it by the President, has, on inquiry, reported that the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner, as the case may be, ought to be removed.
Governance of CVC
- The CVC has its own Secretariat, a Chief Technical Examiners' Wing (CTE) and a wing of Commissioners for Departmental Inquiries (CDI).
- For the purposes of investigation, the CVC depends on two external sources – the CBI and the Chief Vigilance Officers (CVO).
- The Secretariat of the CVC consists of 4 Additional Secretaries, 30 Directors/Deputy Secretaries (including two Officers on Special Duty), 4 Under Secretaries and other office staff.
- The Chief Technical Examiner’s Organisation acts as the technical wing of the Central Vigilance Commission and consists of 2 Engineers of the rank of Chief Engineers who are designated as Chief Technical Examiners; with other supporting engineering staff.
Jurisdiction of CVC
The jurisdiction of the CVC is defined under the following acts:
- CVC Act 2003- the CVC is empowered to investigate cases related to:
- Members of All India Service serving in connection with the affairs of the Union and Group A officers of the Central Government
- Officers of the rank of Scale V and above in the Public Sector Banks
- Officers of Grade D and above in Reserve Bank of India (RBI), NABARD and SIDBI
- Chief Executives and Executives on the Board and other officers of E-8 and above in Schedule ‘A’ and ‘B’ Public Sector Undertakings
- Chief Executives and Executives on the Board and other officers of E-7 and above in Schedule ‘C’ and ‘D’ Public Sector Undertakings
- Managers and above in General Insurance Companies
- Senior Divisional Managers and above in Life Insurance Corporations
- Officers who draw a salary of Rs.8700/- per month and above on Central Government D.A. (Dearness Allowance) pattern, as on the date of the notification and as may be revised from time to time in Societies and other Local Authorities.
- The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013
- The Act amends some of the provisions of the CVC Act, 2003 through which the Commission has been given the power to conduct preliminary inquiry into complaints referred to it by Lokpal in respect of officers and officials of Group 'B', 'C' & 'D', besides:
- Group 'A' officers, for whom a Directorate of Inquiry for making preliminary inquiry has to be set up in the Commission.
- The preliminary inquiry reports in such matters that are referred to it by Lokpal in respect of Group A and B officers are required to be sent to the Lokpal by the CVC.
- The Commission has also been empowered to cause further investigation (after preliminary enquiry) into such matters referred by Lokpal in respect of Group ‘C’ & ‘D’ officials and make a decision on further course of action against them.
- The Whistleblowers Protection Act, 2014
- The Whistleblowers Protection Act, 2014- The Act makes the CVC as the competent authority:
- To receive complaints related to the disclosure on any allegation of corruption or willful misuse of power or willful misuse of discretion against any public servant and to inquire or cause an inquiry into such disclosure,
- To provide adequate safeguards against victimization of persons who make such complaints and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto.
Limitations of CVC
- Since it is an advisory body it is often called a powerless agency with limited powers of its own.
- Multiplicity of organizations often leads to duplicity of work and reduces effectiveness of the organisation.
- Although it is a relatively independent organisation, it has neither the resources nor powers to take actions on complaints of corruption.
- The huge delay in investigation of CVC cases acts as an effective deterrent.
In recent years, India has emerged as one of the progressive and vibrant economies. The rapid growth in almost all sectors of the economy and huge investments being made in the country's infrastructure and other sectors throws up CVCs’ challenges in the fight against the menace of corruption.
Therefore, there is greater need in such times to address the shortcomings in the system of CVC and enhance its efficiency as an organisation dealing with corruption.
Source- The Hind