What are the functions of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)? Critically analyse the powers of CVC.
Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is an apex Indian governmental body created in 1964. CVC was set up based on the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption, headed by Shri K. Santhanam, to advise and guide Central Government agencies in the field of vigilance. The CVC is an independent body, free of control from any executive authority and it is NOT controlled by any ministry or department. The CVC is NOT an investigating agency. The CVC may have the investigation done through the CBI or Chief Vigilance Officers (CVO) in government offices.
Importance of CVC
- It has led to smooth appointment of important officers at various posts in the past.
- It has taken noteworthy action in the past against senior officials, senior personnel and even many politicians.
- It organises vigilance week every year to create awareness against the menace of Corruption.
- It acts as a civil court and can act “Suo Moto”
- The independence of CVC is maintained as it is recruited by an Independent committee consisting of PM, Home Minister, Leader of Opposition etc.
Limitation of the CVC
- CVC is treated as an advisory body only as Central Government Departments are free to either accept or reject CVC’s advice in corruption cases.
- The Commission has no jurisdiction over private individuals and organisations of the State Governments.
- The CVC is left with no power to register criminal case.
- The CVC cannot direct the CBI to initiate inquiries against any officer of the level of Joint Secretary and above. Hence, CVC neither has the resources nor the power to take action on complaints of corruption.
- Appointments to CVC are indirectly under the control of Govt of India. Although, the leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha is a member of the committee that selects the CVC Members – the committee just considers the candidates that are put up before it, and these candidates are decided by the Government.
- CVC is a very small set up with a sanctioned staff strength of 299, which is supposed to check corruption in more than 1500 central government departments and ministries.
Corruption is one issue that needs effective institutions to tackle the same, the demand of new institutions like Lokpal is on the rise due to the failure of the existing organization like the CVC. The powers of the CVC with respect to its mandate, the financial independence, increase in the implementation of otherwise the just advisory role of the CVC needs to be tackled.