Central Vigilance Commission – CVC Members, Functions, Chairman

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Central Vigilance Commission [CVC] is the highest government body to address issues related to governmental corruption. The body was created in 1964 as an outcome of the recommendation of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption. And in 2003, the Parliament enacted a law to confer the statutory status on CVC (No 45 of 2003).

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. This topic beholds an epitome of importance for UPSC aspirants. The article facilitates complete details of the CVC such as its composition, functions, and other details pertaining to it.

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 CVC

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 CVC 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 CVC is a multi-member body that consists of a chairperson and not more than two commissioners. The President appoints them 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 till the time they are 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 CVC

The Central Vigilance Commission has its own chief technical examiner wing, the commissioners for the departmental inquiry wing, and a secretariat. The organization of the CVC includes the following details that have been mentioned herewith-

Wing, Chief Technical Examiner: The chief technical examiner’s wing consists of the technical members of the CVC 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.

Central Vigilance Commissioner

The Central Vigilance (CV) Commissioner is the highest vigilance official that oversees all vigilance activities under the Central Government and plans, advises, reviews, reforms, and conducts various vigilance operations. The CVC is not controlled by any ministry. It is an independent body that can only answer to the Parliament.

The Government founded the Central Vigilance Commission in February 1964 on the recommendation of the Anti-Corruption Commission, led by Shri K. Santhanam. Nittoor Srinivasa Rau first headed the CVC in 1964. Currently, the post is held by Suresh N Patel. In 2003, Congress passed the CVC Act, giving CVC legal status.

Major Functions of CVC

The Central Vigilance Commission receives complaints about official corruption or abuse and recommends appropriate action. The following agencies, facilities, or individuals can contact the CVC:

  • Central Government
  • Local Authorities

Whistleblowers – an employee of a company or government agency/an outsider (media, government officials, police, etc.) who may want to disclose information about misconduct to the general public or officials.

Functions of CVC

One of the functions of CVC includes inquiring or conducting 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. The following functions of Central Vigilance Commission [CVC] are-

  • It gives directions to the CBI, which is a Delhi special police establishment for superintendence in the cases so far 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 the 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 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 following are the boundaries for the Central Vigilance Commission:

  • 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 CVC

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 CVC 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

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 of the bureaucracy involved in corrupt activities can now be free of fear of victimization anywhere. The features of the Whistleblower Protection Act 2014 are:

  • The Whistleblower Protection Act 2014 also encourages people to come forward and expose those involved in corrupt practices and misuse of 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 CVC 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 a part of Indian Polity and a very interesting subject to learn about. You can get the Indian Polity Books and the NCERT books here. Also, to know how the questions can be put up in UPSC Prelims or mains exams, you can reference the UPSC previous year’s question papers for practice.

A complete knowledge of the pivotal and crucial parts of the syllabus will aid the candidates in moving further in the recruitment process. To perform exceptionally well in the upcoming exam an apt and accurate strategy will be needed.

CVC UPSC Question

The questions pertaining to the topic of the CVC have been presented here. It is high importance for the candidates to practice the previous year papers in order to get versed with the essential parts of the syllabus and the exam pattern. By practicing the questions from the UPSC previous year paper the candidates can get track of their level of preparation.

Question – In India, the Central Vigilance Commission addresses the corruption practices made by 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 options [A] 1 only, [B] 2 only, [C] Both are correct, [D] None of the above.

Answer – (Option C) Both are correct. It is an autonomous body that is independent of any executive authority and is responsible for monitoring all government Vigilance activities. The Central Vigilance Commission was established after the K. Santhanam committee recommendations.

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