CVC of India: Central Vigilance Commission Members, Functions

By Ritesh|Updated : July 25th, 2022

Central Vigilance Commission of India is an agency that primarily works to prevent corrupt practices in the central government. The CVC was formed in 1964 on the suggestion of the Santhanam committee on preventing corruption. Therefore, the CVC was initially neither a statutory body nor a constitutional body.

However, in 2003, the law was passed in Parliament, and the Central Vigilance Commission was made to be a statutory body.

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What is the Central Vigilance Commission?

CVC of India is an institution that is free from all the executive authorities and keeps an eye on every vigilance activity happening within the central government. The Vigilance Commission also helps government authorities and organizations plan, review, and execute their vigilance work.

The meaning of vigilance is to ensure a clean and corruption-free administration at the center and state levels to achieve maximum efficiency and effectiveness among the employees. No Ministry or Department has any control over the CVC. It is a separate entity that exclusively answers to the Parliament.

History of Central Vigilance Commission

In February 1964, the government created the CVC on the recommendations made by the committee on the prevention of corruption, which was headed by K Santhanam in February 1964.

  • As an apex vigilance institution, the CVC is an independent body of any executive authority as it is responsible for monitoring and advising the authorities within the government to plan, execute, and reform the vigilance work.
  • A bill was passed by the Parliament of India and the president's assent that created the central Vigilance Commission in 2003.
  • According to the Government of India, the resolution on public interest disclosure and protection of informal means, the Central Vigilance Commission has got the authority as the designated agent to receive and return complaints for disclosure on any allegation of corruption.

Composition of Central Vigilance Commission

The Central Vigilance Commission is a multi-member body that consists of a chairperson and not more than two commissioners. They are appointed by the president by warrant in his hand and field, on the recommendations of a three-member committee. The committee consists of the Prime Minister, the Union Minister of Home Affairs, and the opposition leader in Lok Sabha.

These members hold the office for a period of 4 years or until they attain the age of 65 for retirement. Another interesting fact is that once the member's tenure is completed, he or she cannot be part of any further employment under the state or a central government.

The President of India has got all the rights to remove the central Vigilance commissioner at any part of time if the following circumstances appear:

  • If he is adjusted to insolvency,
  • If he has been convicted of an offense,
  • If he engages in any paid employment outside of his duties during his term of office,
  • If he has acquired a financial or other interest, it is likely to negatively impact his official function.
  • If the officer has misbehaved or is incapable of working seriously, the president can remove the central vigilance commissioner. The Supreme Court of India undertakes the case and investigates if the allegations are genuine. If the allegations are found to be genuine, then the president can remove the Commissioner at once.

Organization of Central Vigilance Commission

The Central Vigilance Commission has its own chief technical examiner wing, the commissioners for the departmental inquiry wing, and a secretariat.

Wing, Chief Technical Examiner: The chief technical examiner's wing consists of the technical members of the Central Vigilance Commission who support the engineering staff. The main functions of the central Vigilance commission's chief technical examiners wing are:

  • The technical audit of the construction of government organizations from a vigilance angle.
  • To investigate specific and unique complaints relating to construction projects.
  • Assistance to the CBI in the investigation involving technical matters and the evaluation of properties
  • Providing assistants to the Chief Vigilance Officer in Vigilance cases that involve technical matters.

Commissioners For Departmental Inquiry: The function of the Commissioner for departmental inquiry is to conduct an oral inquiry against the public servants in the central government.

Secretariat: The Secretariat consisted of members like a Secretary, some Joint Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries under Secretaries, and the office staff.

Functions of the Central Vigilance Commission

The following are the functions of the Central Vigilance Commission:

  • To inquire or conduct an investigation based on references made by the central government where it is claimed that a public servant working for the central government has been involved in offensive acts violating the Prevention of Corruption Act of 1988.
  • It gives directions to the CBI, which is a Delhi special police establishment for superintendence in the cases which so far are related to the investigation of offenses under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988.
  • To review the progress of investigations made by the Delhi Police in the cases related to the offenses under the corruption act.
  • To assess the progress of the prosecution sanction application that is pending with the Delhi police special branch.
  • To exercise the superintendence over the Vigilance administration in the ministries of Central Government.
  • To undertake the complaints received under the public interest disclosure and protection of informal resolution and take the necessary and appropriate actions against them immediately.
  • The Central Vigilance Commissioner is the chairperson assisted by two other Vigilance Commissioners, along with the secretaries of Home Affairs, personnel training, and revenue, who recommend to the central government to appoint the post mentioned above at the level of Deputy Director of Enforcement.

Jurisdiction of Central Vigilance Commission

The following are the boundaries for the Central Vigilance Commission:

  • The CVC has jurisdiction over members of the All India Services who were serving in connection with Union affairs and group A officers of the Central Government.
  • The rank of scale 4 and above officers in the public sector banks.
  • The Reserve Bank of India, NABARD, and SIDBI (Grade D officers)
  • All the managers in general insurance companies
  • The upper-division managers in life insurance corporations.
  • The officers who take a salary of more than Rs 8,700 per month from the central government follow a pattern in societies and in local authorities that are owned and controlled by the central government.

Appointments in Central Vigilance Commission

The President of India appoints the central vigilance commissioner and the state vigilance commissioners. As a part of the session, the appointments are made based on the recommendations from the committee, which consists of the Prime Minister as the chairperson of the committee, the Ministers of Home Affairs, and the leaders of the opposition party in parliament.

People who are qualified for the Central Vigilance Commissioner post are to be chosen among those who have

  • served in an all-India service with knowledge or experience in vigilance policy formulation and administration, including police administration.
  • Individuals with experience in finance, including insurance, banking, law, vigilance, and investigations, or people who have worked in cooperation with established or controlled any central government or government company.

Whistle-Blowers Protection Act 2014

The features of the Whistleblower Protection Act 2014 are:

  • This act protects and secures whistleblowers, which is a name or term given to people who expose people involved in corrupt activities. After 2014, the people who exposed the elements in the bureaucracy involved in corrupt activities can now be free of fear of victimization anywhere.
  • The Whistleblower Protection Act 2014 also encourages people to come forward and expose those involved in corrupt practices and misuse their power, including ministers.
  • According to the whistle-blower protection act, a person can publicly disclose corruption before any authority like the Central Vigilance Commission. Although the Central Vigilance Commission is an authorized body working in the same field, the government can appoint any other body to receive such complaints regarding corruption practices.
  • Also, there is a provision for punishment for people who make false and frivolous complaints by imposing a fine of 30,000 or imprisonment of 2 years.
  • According to the whistleblower act, all disclosures made by people must be authentic and made in good faith. The person must disclose that the information he provides is reasonably correct and the allegations contained therein are substantially true.
  • The disclosures made by the person can be either handwritten or in an email form, with all information provided in detail and accompanied by the appropriate documents attached.
  • No action can be taken on the disclosure if it does not indicate the identity of the person who made the complaint or if the identity of a public servant is found incorrect.
  • This act is not at all applicable to the Special Protection Group.

Central Vigilance Commission UPSC

Central Vigilance Commission, CVC UPSC topic is the part of Indian Polity and a very interesting subject to learn about. You can get the UPSC Indian Polity Books and the NCERT books here. Also, to know how the questions can be put up in UPSC Prelims or UPSC mains exams, you can reference the UPSC previous year's question papers for practice.

Download Central Vigilance Commission UPSC Notes PDF

Central Vigilance Commission UPSC Prelims Question

Question - In India, the Central Vigilance Commission addresses the corruption practices made by the Government employees in India. Taking the reference of the Central Vigilance Commission, follow the statement given below and choose the correct option-

  1. It is an autonomous body that is independent of any executive authority and is responsible for monitoring all government Vigilance activities.
  2. The Central Vigilance Commission was established after the K. Santhanam committee recommendations.

Choose the correct option given below-

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both are correct
  4. None of the above

Answer - C

Other Important UPSC Notes
Attorney General of IndiaSimon Commission
Wahabi MovementPESA ACT 1996
Ujjawala SchemeNational Investigation Agency
Ganga River SystemCentral Information Commission
International OrganizationsLokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013
Women EmpowermentRepresentation of Peoples Act 1951
Brahmo SamajBattle of Plassey 1757


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FAQs for Central Vigilance Commission

  • The first Central Vigilance Commissioner of India was Nittoor Srinivasa Rao, and the current Central Vigilance Commissioner of India is Sanjay Kothari.

  • The Central Vigilance Commission was given the status of a statutory body by the ordinance passed in 1998. This was followed by the introduction of the CVC bill in Lok Sabha however it was not a success. In 1999 the bill was reintroduced, and finally, in 2003, it became an act after being passed by both the Houses of Parliament and received the president's assent. Hence CVC became the statutory body.

  • Vigilance week is celebrated every year in the last week of October to symbolize and celebrate integrity and promote the eradication of corruption from India.

  • The central Vigilance commissioner can hold the office of tenure for the period of 4 years or up to 65 years of age or whatever applies to the first.

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