- Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) created in 1964 to address governmental corruption.
- It was set up on the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption, headed by Shri K. Santhanam.
- It has the status of an autonomous body, free of control from any executive authority.
- It has the responsibility of monitoring all vigilance activity under the Central Government of India, and advising various authorities in central Government organizations in planning, executing, reviewing and reforming their vigilance work.
- The CVC is headed by a Central Vigilance Commissioner who is assisted by two Vigilance Commissioners.
- Nittoor Srinivasa Rau, was selected as the first Chief Vigilance Commissioner of India.
· The CVC is not an investigating agency.
· It works through either the CBI or through the Departmental Chief Vigilance Officers.
· It can proceed Corruption investigations against government officials only after the government permission.
· The CVC publishes a list of cases where permissions are pending.
· The CVC has also been publishing a list of corrupt government officials against which it has recommended punitive action.
The Central Vigilance Commissioner and the Vigilance Commissioners are appointed by the President after obtaining the recommendation of a Committee consisting of:
The Prime Minister — Chairperson
The Home Minister — Member
The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha — Member
Limitations of CVC
· CVC is only an advisory body. Central Government Departments are free to either accept or reject CVC's advice in corruption cases.
· CVC does not have adequate resources compared with number of complaints that it receives.
· CVC cannot direct CBI to initiate inquiries against any officer of the level of Joint Secretary and above on its own. Such permission has to be obtained from the concerned department.
· CVC does not have powers to register criminal case. It deals only with corruption or disciplinary cases.
· CVC has supervisory powers over CBI. However, CVC does not have the power to call for any file from CBI or to direct CBI to investigate any case in a particular manner. CBI is under administrative control of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). It means that, the powers to appoint, transfer, suspend CBI officers lie with DoPT.
As a result, although CVC is relatively independent in its functioning, it has neither resources nor powers to inquire and take action on complaints of corruption.
- Project Vigeye (Vigilance Eye) is a citizen-centric initiative of the CVC, wherein citizens join hands with the Central Vigilance Commission in fighting corruption in India.
- Project Vigeye is the platform through which vigilance information flows freely through common public, the government agencies and the vigilance commission.
The important features of Project Vigeye are:
· Citizens have multiple channels to air their grievances and complaints to CVC
o Through their mobile phones: by downloading the mobile application from the CVC website.
o Through the internet: by filling up the complaint form online they can attach audio/video/photo evidence.
o Through telephone: help line have been setup.
· The entire complaint processing is done online, enabling fast and accurate processing of complaints.
· The concerned CVO will interact with the complainant directly over phone/email or in person, as the case may be, to take it forward.
· Status of the complaint is communicated back to the complainant.