• The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is the main agency for
    preventing corruption in the Central government. It was established in
    1964 by an executive resolution of the Central government. Its establishmentwas recommended by the Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption(1962–64).
  • Thus, originally the CVC was neither a constitutional body nor a statutory
    body. Later, in 2003, the Parliament enacted a law conferring statutory statuson the CVC. In 2004, the CVC has been designated as the agency to receive and act on complaints or disclosure on any allegation of corruption or misuse of officefrom whistle blowers under the “Public Interest Disclosure and Protection ofInformers’ Resolution” (PIDPI), which is popularly known as “WhistleBlowers” Resolution. The Commission is also empowered as the onlydesignated agency to take action against complainants making motivated orvexatious complaints.
  • The CVC is conceived to be the apex vigilance institution, free of control
    from any executive authority, monitoring all vigilance activity under the
    Central Government and advising various authorities in Central Governmentorganisations in planning, executing, reviewing and reforming their vigilancework.


  • The CVC is a multi-member body consisting of a Central Vigilance
    Commissioner (chairperson) and not more than two vigilance commissioners.
  • They are appointed by the president by warrant under his hand and seal on the recommendation of a three-member committee consisting of the prime minister as its head, the Union minister of home affairs and the Leader of theOpposition in the Lok Sabha. They hold office for a term of four years oruntil they attain the age of sixty five years, whichever is earlier. After theirtenure, they are not eligible for further employment under the Central or astate government.
  • The president can remove the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any
    vigilance commissioner from the office under the followingcircumstances:
    (a) If he is adjudged an insolvent; or
    (b) If he has been convicted of an offence which (in the opinion of the
    Central government) involves a moral turpitude; or
    (c) If he engages, during his term of office, in any paid employment outsidethe duties of his office; or
    (d) If he is (in the opinion of the president), unfit to continue in office by
    reason of infirmity of mind or body; or
    (e) If he has acquired such financial or other interest as is likely to affect
    prejudicially his official functions.
  • In addition to these, the president can also remove the Central Vigilance
    Commissioner or any vigilance commissioner on the ground of proved
    misbehaviour or incapacity. However, in these cases, the president has to refer the matter to the Supreme Court for an enquiry. If the Supreme Court,after the enquiry, upholds the cause of removal and advises so, then thepresident can remove him. He is deemed to be guilty of misbehaviour, if he
    (a) is concerned or interested in any contract or agreement made by the
    Central government, or
    (b) participates in any way in the profit of such contract or agreement or in any benefit or emolument arising therefrom otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company.
  • The salary, allowances and other conditions of service of the Central
    Vigilance Commissioner are similar to those of the Chairman of UPSC andthat of the vigilance commissioner are similar to those of a member of UPSC.But they cannot be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.


The CVC has its own Secretariat, Chief Technical Examiners’ Wing (CTE)and a wing of Commissioners for Departmental Inquiries (CDIs).

  • Secretariat:The Secretariat consists of a Secretary, Joint Secretaries, DeputySecretaries, Under Secretaries and office staff.
  • Chief Technical Examiners’ Wing:The Chief Technical Examiners’
    Organisation constitutes the technical wing of the CVC. It consists of ChiefEngineers (designated as Chief Technical Examiners) and supportingengineering staff. The main functions assigned to this organisation are asfollows:
    (i) Technical audit of construction works of Government organisations from avigilance angle
    (ii) Investigation of specific cases of complaints relating to construction
    (iii) Extension of assistance to CBI in their investigations involving technicalmatters and for evaluation of properties in Delhi
    (iv) Tendering of advice / assistance to the CVC and Chief Vigilance Officersin vigilance cases involving technical matters
  • Commissioners for Departmental Inquiries: The CDIs function as Inquiry
    Officers to conduct oral inquiries in departmental proceedings initiated
    against public servants.


The functions of the CVC are:
1. To inquire or cause an inquiry or investigation to be conducted on a
reference made by the Central government wherein it is alleged that a
public servant being an employee of the Central government or its
authorities, has committed an offence under the Prevention of Corruption
Act, 1988.
2. To inquire or cause an inquiry or investigation to be conducted into any
complaint against any official belonging to the below mentioned category
of officials wherein it is alleged that he has committed an offence under
the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988:
(a) Members of all-India servicesserving in the Union and Group ‘A’
officers of the Central government; and
(b) Specified level of officers of the authorities of the Central
3. To exercise superintendence over the functioning of the Delhi Special
Police Establishment (CBI) insofar as it relates to the investigation of
offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
4. To give directions to the Delhi Special Police Establishment (CBI) for
superintendence insofar as it relates to the investigation of offences under
the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
5. To review the progress of investigations conducted by the Delhi Special
Police Establishment into offences alleged to have been committed under
the prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
6. To review the progress of applications pending with the competent
authorities for sanction of prosecution under the Prevention of Corruption
Act, 1988.
7. To tender advise to the Central government and its authorities on such
matters as are referred to it by them.
8. To exercise superintendence over the vigilance administration in the
ministries of the Central government or its authorities.
9. To undertake or cause an inquiry into complaints received under the
Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informers’ Resolution and
recommend appropriate action.
10. The Central Government is required to consult the CVC in making rulesand regulations governing the vigilance and disciplinary matters relatingto the members of Central Services and All-India Services.
11. The Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) is the Chairperson and thetwo Vigilance Commissioners along with Secretaries of M/o Home
Affairs, D/o Personnel and Training and the D/o Revenue in M/o Finance
are the Members of the Selection Committees, on whose recommendation
the Central Government appoints the Director of Enforcement. Further,
this Committee, in consultation with the Director of Enforcement,
recommends officers for appointments to the posts above the level of
Deputy Director of Enforcement.
12. The Central Vigilance Commission has been notified as a specific
authority to receive information relating to suspicious transactions under
the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act (2013) amended both the CVC Act 2003)
and the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act 1946) and made the
following changes with respect to the functions of the CVC.
13. The Director of Prosecution under the Directorate of Prosecution in CBIshall be appointed by the Central Government on the recommendation ofthe Central Vigilance Commission.
14. The Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) is the Chairperson and thetwo Vigilance Commissioners alongwith Secretaries of M/o Home Affairsand D/o Personnel and Training are the Members of the Selection
Committees, on whose recommendation the Central Government appoints
officers to the posts of the level of SP and above in the CBI except
Director of CBI.
15. The Commission has been empowered to conduct preliminary inquiry
into complaints referred by Lokpal in respect of officers and officials of
Groups A, B, C & D, for which a Directorate of Inquiry for making
preliminary inquiry is to be set up in the Commission. The preliminary
inquiry reports in such matters referred by Lokpal in respect of Group A
and B officers are required to be sent to the Lokpal by the Commission.
Further, as per mandate, the Commission is to cause further investigation
into such Lokpal references in respect of Group C and D officials and
decide on further course of action against them.



The jurisdiction of the CVC extends to the following:
1. Members of All India Services serving in connection with the affairs of
the Union and Group A officers of the Central Government.
2. Officers of the rank of Scale V and above in the Public Sector Banks.
3. Officers in Grade D and above in Reserve Bank of India, NABARD and
4. Chief Executives and Executives on the Board and other officers of E-8
and above in Schedule ‘A’ and ‘B’ Public Sector Undertakings.
5. Chief Executives and Executives on the Board and other officers of E-7
and above in Schedule ‘C’ and ‘D’ Public Sector Undertakings.
6. Managers and above in General Insurance Companies.
7. Senior Divisional Managers and above in Life Insurance Corporation.
8. Officers drawing salary of `8700/- per month (pre-revised) and above on
Central Government D.A. pattern, as may be revised from time to time, in
societies and local authorities owned or controlled by the Central



  • The CVC conducts its proceedings at its headquarters (New Delhi). It is
    vested with the power to regulate its own procedure. It has all the powers of acivil court and its proceedings have a judicial character. It may call for information or report from the Central government or its authorities so as toenable it to exercise general supervision over the vigilance and anticorruption work in them.
  • The CVC, on receipt of the report of the inquiry undertaken by any agency on a reference made by it, advises the Central government or its authorities asto the further course of action. The Central government or its authorities shallconsider the advice of the CVC and take appropriate action. However, wherethe Central government or any of its authorities does not agree with theadvice of the CVC, it shall communicate the reasons (to be recorded inwriting) to the CVC.
  • The CVC has to present annually to the President a report on its
    performance. The President places this report before each House of


All ministries/departments in the Union Government have a Chief VigilanceOfficer (CVO) who heads the Vigilance Division of the organisationconcerned, assisting and advising the Secretary or Head of Office in allmatters pertaining to vigilance. He also provides a link between hisorganisation and the Central Vigilance Commission on the one hand and hisorganisation and the Central Bureau of Investigation on the other. Vigilancefunctions performed by the CVO include
(i) Collecting intelligence about corrupt practices of the employees of his
(ii) Investigating verifiable allegations reported to him
(iii) Processing investigation reports for further consideration of the
disciplinary authority concerned
(iv) Referring matters to the Central Vigilance Commission for advice
wherever necessary




  • In order to establish a mechanism to receive complaints relating to disclosureon any allegation of corruption or wilful misuse of power of discretionagainst any public servant and to inquire or cause an inquiry into suchdisclosures and to provide adequate safeguards against victimization of thepersons making such complaint, the Government introduced “The PublicInterest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making the Disclosure Bill,2010” in the Lok Sabha on 26.08.2010.
    The Bill was referred to the Department Related Parliamentary Standing
  • The recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committeewere considered and the Cabinet in its meeting held on 13.12.2011 approvedofficial amendments to the Bill which included renaming it as “The WhistleBlowers Protection Bill, 2011”. The Lok Sabha considered the Bill alongwith the Officials Amendments and passed it on 27.12.2011 and transmittedit to the Rajya Sabha for discussion and passing. The Bill was listed forconsideration on 28th & 29th December, 2011 but could not be taken up fordiscussion and passing in Rajya Sabha.
  • The Whistle Blowers Protection Bill, 2011 came up for consideration in
    the Rajya Sabha on 14.08.2012 during the Monsoon Session, 2012. The Billwas listed on a number of days subsequently, but the same could not be takenup during the said Monsoon Session. Notices for moving motion forconsideration and passing of the Bill and for moving official amendmentswere also given to the Rajya Sabha Secretariat during the Winter Session,2012, Budget Session, 2013 and Monsoon Session, 2013 of Parliament,respectively, but the Bill could not be taken up. Notices for moving officialamendments as well as for consideration and passing of the Bill were againsent to the Rajya Sabha during the Winter Session, 2013 of Parliament.The Bill as passed by Lok Sabha was finally passed by Rajya Sabha on21st February, 2014 and received the assent of the President on 9th May,2014.


The salient features of the Whistle Blowers Protection Act (2011) are as
1. The Act provides a mechanism for protecting the identity of whistle
blowers (a term given to people who expose corruption). People who
expose corruption in Government or irregularities by public functionaries
can now be free of any fear of victimization.
2. The Act also provides for a system to encourage people to disclose
information about corruption or the wilful misuse of power by public
servants, including ministers.
3. As per the Act, a person can make a public interest disclosure on
corruption before a competent authority – which is at present the Central
Vigilance Commission (CVC). The government, by notification, can
appoint any other body also for receiving such complaints about
4. The Act, however, lays down punishment of up to two years in prison anda fine of up to Rs 30,000 for false or frivolous complaints.
5. The Act says that every disclosure shall be made in good faith and the
person making the disclosure shall provide a personal declaration stating
that he reasonably believes that the information disclosed by him and the
allegation contained therein is substantially true.
6. Disclosures can be made in writing or by email message in accordance
with the procedure as may be prescribed and contain full particulars and
be accompanied by supporting documents, or other material.
7. However, no action shall be taken on a disclosure if it does not indicate
the identity of the complainant or public servant or if “the identity of the
complainant or public servant is found to be incorrect.”
8. Information related to national security has been kept out of the purview
of the Act. The Act is not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir, the armed
forces and the Special Protection Group mandated to provide security to
the Prime Minister and former prime ministers, among others.


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