Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is an apex Indian governmental body created in 1964 to address governmental corruption, monitoring all vigilance under the central government, and advising various authorities in central government organization in planning, executing, reviewing their vigilance work. It has the status of an autonomous body.
It was set up by the Government of India in February, 1964 on the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption, headed by Shri K. Santhanam Committee, to advise and guide Central Government agencies in the field of vigilance. Nittoor Srinivasa Rau, was selected as the first Chief Vigilance Commissioner of India.
Service conditions and appointment of Vigilance Commissioner
The Central Vigilance Commissioner is to be appointed by the President of India. He holds the office for three years. He can be removed or suspended from the office by the President on the ground of misbehavior but only after the Supreme Court has held an inquiry into his case and recommended action against him.
The Commission is mainly an advisory body and has no adjudicatory functions. It mainly considers the complaints relating to corruption, misconduct, lack of integrity or some other kinds of malpractice or misdemeanor on the part of the public servants.
It cannot extend sanction for criminal prosecution for offences committed by public servants. It has no machinery to investigate or enquire into complaints of corruption except to a limited extent.
The commission is not authorized to investigate the complaint itself, it has to refer them to the Central Bureau of Investigation or Ministry or Department for investigation. However, the Chief Technical Examiner’s Organization attached to it, conducts technical examination of public works including checking of bills of contractors, contracts and muster rolls. The Commission advices as to the action to be taken in following cases:
(i) Reports of investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation which involves departmental action or prosecution in the matter either referred to it by the commission or otherwise.
(ii) Reports of investigation by the Ministry or department involving the case of disciplinary action in the matters either referred by the Commission or otherwise.
(iii) Cases received direct from public sector undertakings and statutory corporations; etc.
The commission is required to submit an annual report to the ministry of Home Affairs, stating the cases in which its recommendation were accepted and acted upon by the competent authorities.
The long-standing demand for the formation of an act to deal with the provisions relating to constitution, jurisdiction, power and function of the commission was ultimately meted by passing an act. The said Act was named as central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003.
Functions and Powers of Central Vigilance Commission—
(1) The functions and powers of the commission shall be to—
(a) Exercise superintendence over the functioning of the Delhi Special Police Establishment insofar as it relates to the investigation of offences alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988
(b) Give directions to the Delhi Special Police Establishment for the purpose of discharging the responsibility entrusted to it under sub-section (1) of section 4 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1964 (25 of 1946).