What is Central Vigilance Commission?

The Central Vigilance Commission, which is the apex vigilance body and is not subject to any executive authority, is in charge of supervising all vigilance-related activities carried out by the Central Government and offering advice to various Central Government organisations’ authorities on vigilance planning, execution, review, and reform.

The Central Vigilance Commission(CVC) was established by the government in February 1964 in response to the recommendations of the Committee on Corruption Prevention, chaired by Shri K. Santhanam. The CVC is not affiliated with any Ministry or Department. It is a self-governing body that is solely accountable to Parliament.

The topic like ‘Central Vigilance Commission’ is important for IAS Exam as it forms an important part of the Political Science subject for prelims, mains GS-II, and optional papers. Also, the government of India recently made appointments to top posts in Central Vigilance Commission(CVC) and Central information commission (CIC) making them important for government aspirants to know about.

On that note, let’s learn about one of the most important autonomous body in India, Central Vigilance Commission(CVC) in detail.

Functions of Central Vigilance Commission

  • The CVC investigates charges of corruption or misuse of office and makes recommendations for appropriate action. CVC can be approached by the following institutions, bodies, or individuals:
  • Central government
  • Lokpal
  • Whistleblowers
  • It is not a law enforcement agency. The CVC either directs the CBI or chief vigilance officers (CVO) in government offices to conduct the probe.
  • It has the authority to investigate alleged violations of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 by specific categories of public officials.
  • Its yearly report summarises the commission’s work and points to systematic problems that lead to corruption in government departments.

CVC’s Jurisdiction

CVC Act 2003

  • Members of the All India Service serving in connection with Union issues and Central Government Group A officials
  • Officers of the Scale V and above in Public Sector Banks
  • Officers of the Reserve Bank of India, NABARD, and SIDBI in Grade D and higher
  • Chief Executives and Executives on the Board of Directors, as well as other officers of E-8 and above in Schedule ‘A’ and ‘B’ Public Sector Undertakings
  • Chief Executives and Executives on the Board of Directors, as well as other executives of E-7 and above in Schedule ‘C’ and ‘D’ Public Sector Undertakings
  • Officers in Societies and other Local Authorities receiving salaries of Rs.8700/- p.m. and above on the Central Government D.A. (Dearness Allowance) pattern, as on the date of the notification and as may be altered from time to time.

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013

  • The Act amends various provisions of the CVC Act of 2003, empowering the Commission to conduct a preliminary investigations into complaints referred by Lokpal in respect of officers and officials of Groups ‘B,’ ‘C,’ and ‘D,’ as well as:
  • Group ‘A’ officers, for whom the Commission will establish a Directorate of Inquiry to conduct a preliminary investigation.
  • The preliminary inquiry findings in such issues reported by Lokpal in relation to Group A and B officials must be provided to Lokpal by the Commission.
  • The Commission is also tasked with conducting a thorough examination (following a preliminary inquiry) into such Lokpal references involving Group ‘C’ and ‘D’ officials and deciding what action to take against them.

The Whistleblowers Protection Act, 2014

  • The Whistleblowers Protection Act of 2014 delegates authority to the Commission as the responsible body:
  • to receive complaints relating to the disclosure of any allegation of corruption, wilful misuse of power, or willful misuse of discretion against any public servant, and to inquire or cause an inquiry into such disclosure,
  • and provide adequate safeguards against victimisation of the person making such complaint, and for matters connected with and incidental to such disclosure.

Limitations of CVC

  • The CVC is sometimes regarded as an impotent institution because it is simply an advisory body with no authority to file criminal charges against government officials or direct the CBI to commence investigations into any individual with the rank of Joint Secretary or higher.
  • Although the CVC operates “relatively independently,” it lacks the resources and authority to investigate and prosecute corruption charges.

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