New Delhi, Aug. 30: The Central Vigilance Commission is fighting a tough battle, not against corruption but the paper tiger.
The commission has told government departments and public sector undertakings it does not want to get involved in disciplinary proceedings against delinquent officials unless there is a vigilance angle to the misconduct. But, clearly, the government bodies are not listening.
Vigilance officials say a “significant number” of cases that land up at the commission headquarters seeking their advice do not relate to vigilance matters but disciplinary proceedings against central government employees.
Last year, the commission gave its advice in nearly 6,500 cases, at the first stage for starting departmental proceedings against delinquent staffers and at the second stage, recommending penalties after departmental proceedings indict the officials.
The commission recommended imposing major penalties on 1,432 employees, including pension cuts and dismissal from service and minor penalties on 1,372 others.
But the CVC is under no illusion why departments, especially public sector units, have made it a habit to refer all proceedings to it.
This is not out of respect for the commission’s impartiality but a habit of not taking responsibility for their decisions. “They have got into the habit of firing from our shoulders. Why else would the vigilance commission be asked to give its advice on the penalty to be imposed on an employee who was on unauthorised leave,” a senior CVC official said.
“If there are protests against the penalty imposed on a staffer, they find it easier to attribute the decision to the CVC rather than stand up and own responsibility,” said the official.
The commission has evidently not taken too kindly to being used as a punching bag. “Why should they use our shoulders to fire'” asked a senior commission official.