[Answered] Discuss the role and mandate of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in addressing corruption. Critically examine its effectiveness.

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Mandate of CVC and it’s effectiveness.
Conclusion. Way forward.

Central Vigilance Commission was established in 1964 under the recommendations of Santhanam Committee, it gained statutory authority in 2003 CVC Act. It was envisaged to prevent corruption in governance and hold civil servants responsible for their malafide actions.

Mandate of the CVC:

  1. It is considered to be the coordinating authority to check Corruption for All India services, Central services, PSUs and other departments.
  2. It heads the Delhi Special Police in cases of Corruption.
  3. It reviews the grants of prosecution clearance by the government.
  4. It recommend disciplinary actions against higher officials of Group A,B, All India services etc.
  5. It is basically considered to be the nodal agency to tackle corruption at the national level.

Effectiveness of CVC:

In sync with its mandate CVC has proved to be an effective organization in tackling corruption, it has proved its mettle in the past by the following actions.

  1. It has led to smooth appointment of important officers at various posts in the past.
  2. It has taken noteworthy action in the past against senior officials, senior personnel and even many politicians.
  3. It organises vigilance week every year to create awareness against the menace of Corruption.
  4. It acts as a civil court and can act “Suo Moto”
  5. The independence of CVC is maintained as it is recruited by an Independent committee consisting of PM, Home Minister, Leader of Opposition etc.

Some issues:

However, the expectation that CVC will be an institute which can prove to be “One Stop Solution” to tackle Corruption in the country has been proved to be a hoax, due to the following ineffectiveness-

  1. The Decisions of the CVC are not binding on the organizations or ministries.
  2. Very low conviction rate has reduced the impact of CVC and its effectiveness.
  3. There is huge delay in the cases that CVC handles, hence it does not act as an effective deterrent.
  4. CVC is often considered a powerless agency as it is treated as an advisory body only with no power to register criminal case against government officials or direct CBI to initiate inquiries against any officer of the level of Joint Secretary and above.
  5. Although CVC is “relatively independent” in its functioning, it neither has the resources nor the power to take action on complaints of corruption.
  6. In most cases, the domains and the jurisdiction of the organizations is not clear.
  7. Multiplicity of organization leads to work duplication and reduces the effectiveness.
  8. The post of Central Vigilance Commissioner has remained vacant for a long period of time.

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.

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