The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has directed all Ministries/Departments of the Union government to strictly adhere to the time limits for various stages of disciplinary proceedings in vigilance cases since unexplained delay was causing undue advantage or harassment to the charged officials.
In a circular issued on December 30, 2020 to all Chief Vigilance Officers, the central agency expressed concern that despite clear guidelines issued by the CVC and the Department of Personnel & Training, investigators were not adhering to the prescribed time limit, resulting in investigations taking a much longer time. This ultimately led to an unwarranted delay in finalising a disciplinary case.
“Any delay in finalisation of such matters is neither in the interest of the organisation nor that of the employee concerned. Undue delay on one hand provided prolonged opportunities to a corrupt public servant to indulge in inappropriate activities. On the other hand, any unwarranted delay in the conclusion of vigilance related matters is detrimental for an honest public servant, who may have got involved in a vigilance case, due to various reasons,” Rajiv Verma, Officer on Special Duty, CVC said in the circular.
Pointing out that some cases were not being brought to a logical conclusion in a timely manner and remained pending in the organisation for long period of time, the official said reminded the CVOs of the prescribed time-frame in issuing chargesheet and conducting departmental enquiry/submission of report by the Inquiry Officer.
Referring to cases initiated between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2018 that were pending due to a variety of reasons such as a stay granted by a court of law; case pending in a court of law; case kept in abeyance since official had been terminated from service in some other case, etc., the CVC directed that these cases be finalised latest by May 31, 2021, adding that the Supreme Court had ordered for limiting the period of stay granted by a court of law to six months, barring exceptional cases.