Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) oversees Vigilance Administration in India.
Genesis of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)
In the year 1962, Government of India under Prime Minister, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri appointed Shri Kasturiranga Santhanam to study and give recommendations on anti-corruption measures. Santhanam Committee recommended setting up of Central Vigilance Commission which was acceded to by the Government of India. As a result, Central Vigilance Commission was set up in 1964 by resolution dated 11.02.1964 and was conferred upon with Statutory Status vide The Central Vigilance Commission Ordinance, 1998. The Central Vigilance Commission Bill was passed in both the Houses of Parliament – The Lok Sabha and The Rajya Sabha in 2003. The Central Vigilance Commission Act received the assent of the President of India on September 11, 2003 and came into effect from this date.
Internal Setup of the Central Vigilance Commission
In terms of the CVC Act, 2003, the Central Vigilance Commission is –
- Headed by a Chairperson i.e. the Central Vigilance Commissioner.
- There are Vigilance Commissioners (not more than two) as its members.
- There is a Secretary to the Commission.
- There is also a panel of Commissioners for Departmental Inquiries (CDI) who conduct oral inquiries in Departmental Proceedings conducted against public servants.
The President of India appoints Central Vigilance Commissioner as well as Vigilance Commissioners. The Secretary is appointed by the Government of India.
In the event of leave / vacancy in the office of Central Vigilance Commissioner, the President of India may authorize one of the Vigilance Commissioners to act as Central Vigilance Commissioner till the time office is assumed by the CVC / new CVC.
The tenure of services of Central Vigilance Commissioner and Vigilance Commissioners is 4 years from the date they assume their office or till they attain 65 years of age, whichever is earlier.
The Commission is headquartered at New Delhi.
While conducting an Inquiry, the Commission has the powers of a Civil Court trying a suit under Code of Civil Procedure.
The Commission has jurisdiction over –
- Members of All India Services serving in connection with the affairs of the Union of India
- Group A Officers of the Central Government
- Comparative to Group A level of Officers in the Corporations established by the Government under any Central Act, Government Companies, societies and other local authorities, owned or controlled by the Central Government.
- In case of Public Sector Banks, Officers of the level Scale V and above are considered as comparable to Group A Officers. They are called Category A Officers.
Jurisdiction in case of Employees belonging to Other Categories
The CVC has jurisdiction over other category of employees also in following special cases:
- Composite Cases: If in a matter a number of employees are involved and out of them few (at least one) falls under the jurisdiction of Commission, but others not ordinarily. In such a case, the whole matter shall be treated as one and all the employees would come under the purview of Commission. First Stage / Second Stage References need to be send in case of all employees including those who do not fall within the jurisdiction of Commission otherwise.
- Difference of Opinion: If there is a difference of opinion between the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) and the Disciplinary Authority (DA) and the head of the organization (for example, Managing Director in case of Banks) is not able to resolve the issue. In all such cases, the CVC will have a jurisdiction. The word of the Commission will be final and CVO as well as the DA has to accept it.
- In case of complaints received under Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informer Resolution, 2004 (PIDPI), the Commission has jurisdiction over all the employees irrespective of their class or group or category.