CVC’s corruption files jumped 66% in 2012

The number of corruption-related complaints to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) – the government’s in-house anti-corruption body, jumped 66% in 2012, numbers show.

A total of 29,559 complaints were filed with the CVC in 2012, or about 94 complaints per day. In 2011, the total number was 17,830. India has about 1.7 million central government employees (excluding those in the Indian Railways.)

The CVC is an advisory body that can review complaints, and suggest investigation to the ‘parent’ ministry of the bureaucrat who has been accused of misdemeanor. However, it does not have the power to order an investigation by itself.

Out of the 29,600 complaints, about 800 were filed under the PIDPI or Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informer provision. Complaints filed under this provision enable the complainant to get special protection against vindictive seniors etc.. Details of the complainants are not generally disclosed.

India has seen a rapid increase in ‘scams and scandals’ involving government officials and elected representatives in the last five years. While some have pointed out that this is the result of increased access to information due to technology, others have said corruption levels have increased in India in recent years.

The government is supposed to either give sanction or refuse sanction within three months after being a referral by the CVC.

As of the end of last year, there were 44 cases (involving a higher number of people) on which government sanction or response was pending for more than three months.

Sometimes, government departments deem that the evidence handed over by the CVC is not good enough for conducting an investigation about an employee, according to a government statement.

“The delay which occurs in the sanctioning of prosecution in some cases is mostly on account of detailed scrutiny and analysis of voluminous case records and evidence, consultation with Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), State Governments and other agencies, and sometimes non-availability of relevant documentary evidence,” the government said.