Vigilance and Corruption - And The Role of Central Vigilance Commission - Seeker's Thoughts

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Vigilance and Corruption - And The Role of Central Vigilance Commission

Vigilance is an indispensable weapon in the fight against corruption; however, its implementation must be effective on the ground level.

The Central Vigilance Commission was first established as part of the K. Santhanam Committee recommendations in 1964 and later became a statutory body in 2003. Since its creation, it has provided supervision over vigilance administration within various Central Government agencies.

How CVC is Fighting Corruption and Improving Governance in India

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is the primary governing body responsible for combatting government corruption. Established in 1964 and granted statutory status by Parliament in 2003, this independent and transparent body serves to monitor, advise, reform, and investigate allegations under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 by certain categories of public servants. It was granted its current title of "Central Vigilance Commission" (CVC) on November 12, 2013.

The CVC receives complaints against officials of central government organizations and private companies working for the government. Once investigations have concluded, action may be taken. Furthermore, whistleblowers are encouraged to come forward with their concerns; providing protection and remuneration while aiding investigations processes. Finally, this body may recommend the dismissal of corrupt officials from their jobs.

Vigilance issues related to members of the All-India Services and central government corporations fall within its purview, while selection committee members recommend officers for appointments above Deputy Director rank. It has the power to request reports, returns and statements from central government departments, government companies/societies owned or controlled by them as well as local authorities they own or control.

In 2019, the CVC processed and resolved 35649 complaints, an increase over recent years; yet pending complaints remain high; 72 cases were recommended to initiate criminal proceedings by the Commission in 2019.

The CVC serves as a regulator in the insurance industry, taking measures against mis-selling by insurers and taking appropriate disciplinary measures against those found engaging in such practices. Furthermore, it has taken steps to enhance governance within this sector, identify fraud sources and provide recommendations to stop them happening again; and organizes an annual Vigilance Awareness Week commemorating Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's birthday and beyond to educate people on ways to combat corruption within India. This celebration takes place each October ending with his birth anniversary being commemorated annually on 28 November.

The Evolution and Impact of CVC as an Autonomous Anti-Corruption Institution

The Commission possesses broad authority for investigating corruption. It can conduct inquiries into allegations of corrupt practices, identify corrupt officials and suggest punitive measures against them; however, before beginning its work it must first obtain permission from the government in order to proceed with its investigations and avoid being mired down by political considerations.

CVC provides advice to various central government authorities regarding planning, executing, reviewing, and reforming their vigilance activities. It can oversee the performance of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigations against public servants accused of engaging in acts of corruption as well as supervise vigilance administration within ministries/departments under executive control of Union.

CVC, India's anti-corruption body, is led by its Central Vigilance Commissioner who is assisted by two Vigilance Commissioners. CVC membership includes senior members from central government service as well as public personalities; their term can last four years or until reaching 65, whichever comes first; President of India issues warrants for membership under his hand and seal.

Though powerful and influential, the CVC itself is not immune to corruption. Critics have accused it of not reacting quickly enough when allegations of corruption surface in the press or public eye, yet CVC continues to work toward solving this problem by informing citizens about its dangers and taking measures to combat it.

Another major challenge for the CVC is lack of resources to achieve its objectives. With only 299 staff approved for staffing purposes, which is inadequate to effectively investigate corruption across over 1500 central government departments and ministries. Furthermore, appointment to CVC falls directly under government control since an advisory committee under Lok Sabha leader of opposition controls selection committee of members for CVC membership; finally it only has limited powers as it cannot directly order inquiries against officers of Joint Secretary rank or higher without prior CBI authorization.

CVC: The Apex Vigilance Body of India

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) of India was established in 1964 to combat government corruption. As an autonomous body independent from executive authority, its purpose is to monitor all vigilance activities under central government supervision while advising authorities in government organizations in planning, executing, reviewing and reforming their vigilance capabilities. Furthermore, CVC investigates complaints filed under Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informers Resolution commonly known as Whistleblower Resolution; members appointed by President. Its first Chief Vigilance Commissioner was Nittoor Srinivasa Rau.

The CVC has several important functions and powers, such as calling for reports from all government agencies under it; government-controlled companies or societies; local authorities owned or controlled by central government; as well as Delhi Special Police Establishment. Furthermore, it can investigate offenses under 91 different sections of Indian Penal Code in addition to violations under Prevention of Corruption Act 1947.

Further, the CVC has the authority and rights to inspect any premises connected with vigilance work such as government offices and places associated with it, in addition to inspecting records and files under their purview. They must provide any requested information within a timely fashion.

It has the authority to review orders passed by subordinate disciplinary authorities of ministries/departments when handling vigilance cases referred by or started independently by them; further, it ensures proper assistance is given by CBI in probing petitions/court cases filed against accused officials.

However, the CVC does not come without limitations. Though an independent and autonomous body, its funding still relies heavily on ministers. This may result in conflicts of interest that lessen its effectiveness and credibility as an anti-corruption watchdog. Furthermore, its recommendations do not bind executive authorities; thus diluting or delaying them.

CVC and CBI: A Critical Analysis of their Relationship and Roles in Combating Corruption

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is an apex institution established outside executive control to combat government corruption. Established as an official body in 2003, its primary duties include providing advice and recommendations for planning, implementing, reviewing, and reforming their vigilance activities across central government agencies; investigating complaints against public servants; initiating inquiries against Group A or B services or senior officers of All India Services upon receiving an official complaint or recommendation made directly by it; investigating complaints filed against public servants by private individuals.

It has the authority to demand reports, returns and statements from Central Government bodies, such as corporations established under Central Acts or Government Companies with Government shares owned or controlled by them as well as societies under their control or those owned or managed by local authorities under their jurisdiction. It can also take up any matters concerning violations of economic or fiscal laws like customs duties, import/export control laws, income tax regulations or foreign exchange regulations and take necessary disciplinary actions against officers of Joint Secretary rank or above.

The Commission is led by its Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), supported by two other Vigilance Commissioners. As well as their primary responsibility of overseeing vigilance activities, CVC also provide administrative services related to policy formulation, system enhancements and preventive measures; compile Agreed Lists/ODI lists as well as coordinate with departments regarding transfer requests of officials.

Additionally, this office is responsible for monitoring progress of investigations conducted by the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) into offenses committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988. They take up matters which involve national or international implications or professional criminals or organized gangs as well as request investigation by CBI if permitted by Department of Home Affairs and Personnel Training.

If it discovers any evidence of misconduct by any Vigilance Commissioner, the CVC can take immediate steps against that individual, such as removal. These offenses include: