Data from the CVC reveals that the cumulative total complaints received between 2004 and 2022 in Railways stood at 1.8 lakhs, followed by NCT Delhi at 1.4 lakhs, home affairs at 1.25 lakhs and banks at 1.2 lakhs accounting for more than half of all complaints.
In the first part of the series on the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), we focussed on the type and nature of complaints often received by the CVC. We also looked at the disposals of the cases, including the share of the cases that required further investigation. In this second part, the focus is on the Central Vigilance Officers (CVOs) and the complaints received and disposed by them, including the organizational break-up of the those.
One-fourth of all the complaints received by CVOs are pending.
As mentioned in the earlier story, CVOs act as a crucial bridge between the Commission and the organizations and the CVC carries out its mandate of superintendence over vigilance administration through the CVOs. As a result, the Commission regularly monitors the performance of CVOs through established mechanisms such as performance reports, periodic reviews, and annual reports.
CVOs can receive complaints from two directions – either directly by them or sent to them by the Commission. The data on the total number of complaints received by the CVOs indicates that there is a huge increase in the number of complaints received. Between 2004 and 2013, an average of 40,263 complaints were received per year, whereas between 2014 and 2022, the average number of complaints received grew to 73,784 marking a growth of 80%. On the disposals front, the average number of complaints that are disposed grew from 30,092 to 54,050 during the same period. The total number of complaints that are pending grew from an average of 10,172 to 19,734 during the same period. On average, one-quarter of all the complaints received were pending during the same period.
Railways tops, followed by NCT Delhi Government and Home affairs in total number of complaints received.
The organizational break-up of the total complaints received in respect of all categories of employees/officers reveal that railways has the cumulative highest number of complaints between 2004 to 2022, followed by Government of NCT Delhi, Ministry of Home Affairs, and Banks. Together, these four organizations account for more than half of the total complaints received between 2004 and 2022 by the CVC.
The cumulative total complaints received between 2004 and 2022 in Railways stood at 1.8 lakhs, followed by NCT Delhi at 1.4 lakhs, home affairs at 1.25 lakhs and banks at 1.2 lakhs. It is further observed that there is a sharp rise in the complaints received in Ministry of Home Affairs during the last three years, whereas complaints from Government of NCT Delhi had stabilized after a steep decline between 2004 and 2007. The increase in complaints received in Ministry of Home Affairs could be due to the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019 turning Jammu & Kashmir into two Union Territories.
Marginal reduction in departmental inquiries received in the recent years.
After a decision has been made to commence disciplinary proceedings against an officer, the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) must make certain that the charge-sheet is meticulously prepared and promptly issued. Furthermore, the CVO is responsible for ensuring that there are no delays in appointing ‘Inquiry Officers’. The CVO consistently supervises the advancement of departmental inquiries and promptly informs the relevant disciplinary or administrative authorities if any excessive delays are detected, prompting them to take corrective action.
The data on the number of departmental inquiries received indicate that there is a marginal reduction in recent years. Between 2004 and 2013, the average number of departmental inquiries against officers (under CVC jurisdiction) and other employees was 14,322, which declined to 12,416 during 2014 and 2022.
At an organizational level, Banks stood at the top with 93,747 cases, followed by Railways with 33,833 cases, Telecommunications at 12,101 cases and Customs & Excise with 8,935 cases received respectively. Approximately 45% of the cases received in Banks are pending, while that for Railways, Telecommunications and Customs & Excise are 50%, 60% and 67% respectively.
Two-fifths of the requests for prosecution sanctions are refused.
Once the investigation is completed as per the standard procedure, if the investigating agency concludes that there is sufficient evidence for initiation of criminal action, it shall forward the request for sanction through the CVO of that organization concerned. The CVOs here play an important role in processing and expediting the matter.
The data on the sanctions for prosecutions indicate that almost forty percent of such requests are refused. A total of 11,648 cases were received for sanctions from 2004 to 2022, out of which 7,077 were sanctioned and 1,721 are refused. Between 2004 and 2013, an average of 534 cases for sanctions were received, out of which 352 were sanctioned and 74 were refused. Similarly, between 2014 and 2022, an average of 701 cases for sanctions were received, out of which 395 were sanctioned and 109 were refused. On an average, around 40% of the cases for sanction are refused.
Banks and Government of NCT Delhi tops in the total cases for sanction of prosecution
The organizational break-up of the above cases for sanctions to prosecute reveal that banks have filed maximum cases, followed by Government of NCT Delhi, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) and Railways. Together, these four account for almost 60% of the total cases for sanction. Between 2004 and 2022, Banks had 4,650 cases for sanction, followed by Government of NCT Delhi at 1040, CBEC at 773 and Railways at 667. Out of the 4,650 for banks, 2283 are sanctioned, while 1111 are refused. Similarly, for NCT Delhi, 719 cases are sanctioned for prosecution while 50 are refused.
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