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Indian Polity

CVC on Delay in Investigations

  • 19 Jan 2021
  • 5 min read

Why in News

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has recently directed all Ministries/Departments of the Union government to strictly adhere to the time limits for various stages of disciplinary proceedings in vigilance cases since delays were causing undue advantage or harassment to the charged officials.

Key Points

  • Issue:
    • The CVC has earlier also expressed concerns that despite clear guidelines issued by the CVC and the Department of Personnel & Training, investigators were not adhering to the prescribed time limit, resulting in investigations taking a much longer time.
    • The Supreme Court has also ordered for limiting the period of stay granted by a court of law to six months, barring exceptional cases.
  • Reasons for Pendency:
    • Stay granted by a court of law
    • Case pending in a court of law
    • Case kept in abeyance since official had been terminated from service
  • Impact:
    • Set’s Poor Precedent:
      • Undue delay provided prolonged opportunities to a corrupt public servant to indulge in inappropriate activities.
    • Disincentives honest officials:
      • Any delay in the conclusion of vigilance related matters is detrimental for an honest public servant, who may have got involved in a vigilance case.

Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)

  • 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.
  • Formation:
    • The CVC was set up by the Government in 1964 on the recommendations of the Committee headed by Shri K. Santhanam. In 2003, the Parliament enacted CVC Act conferring statutory status on the CVC.
  • Functions:
    • The CVC receives complaints on corruption or misuse of office and to recommend appropriate action. Following institutions, bodies, or a person can approach to CVC:
      • Central government
      • Lokpal
      • Whistle blowers
    • It is not an investigating agency. The CVC either gets the investigation done through the Central Bureau of Investigation or through Chief Vigilance Officers (CVO) in government offices.
  • Governance
    • 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 CBI and Chief Vigilance Officers (CVO).
    • The Central Vigilance Commission:
      • The Multi-member Commission consists of a Central Vigilance Commissioner (Chairperson) and not more than two 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).
      • Chief Vigilance Officers (CVO):
        • Vigilance administration in Departments/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.
        • CVOs in all Departments/organisations are appointed after prior consultation with the Commission.
      • Term:
        • Their term is 4 years or 65 years, whichever is earlier.
      • Removal:
        • The Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner can be removed from his office only by order of the President on the ground 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.


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