CVCs Latest: Be Vigilant Against Gifts!

New Delhi, Sept 24: | Updated: Sep 25 2003, 05:30am hrs
The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has sent out its festival season greetings to the government and public sector undertakings(PSUs) officials: Refrain from receiving gifts, or for that matter, even giving out gifts could attract the Commissions ire.

The practice of PSUs, sending gifts to government servants unnecessarily embarasses them and puts them in a dilemma. Gifts are meant for promoting commercial or business interests and there is no need to send them to government officials, who are only doing their duty, CVC has written to the PSUs. The Commission is also observing the Vigilance Awareness Week from November 3-8, 2003.

CVC has already upped its ante against corrupt government officials, doubling the pace of solving corruption cases to over 866 in August this year from about 400 during the same month of 2002.

The Commission armed itself with a new logo in July this year an eye in blue encircled by the letter C symbolising the collective determination of the community to be vigilant against any erosion of rights through illegal and improper actions of public servants. The logo was designed by the Yale University alumni Binoy Sarkar.

CVC imposed major penalty on 70 officials of various PSUs, ranging from dismissals to demotion to substantial salary cuts. Majority of these officials are from banks followed by Department of Telecom (DoT).

Amongst the 70 officials, 26 are from public sector banks, 21 are from DoT, 6 from Railways, 3 from Delhi Jal Board, 2 each from ministry of home affairs, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), insurance companies, and Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) and one from department of company affairs (DCA).

There are nine cases of dismissal from service which include a deputy director of DCA, a senior manager of State Bank of Hyderabad and a development officer of National Insurance Co.

In July 2003 the commission disposed off 711 cases against previous months disposal of 689. In July it advised government to initiate major penalty proceedings in 181 cases which includes 66 officials from public sector banks, 26 insurance company officers, 13 officers from Railways, 11 from MoT, 10 from CBEC, 7 from CBDT and 9 from Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. The Commission has helped to recover over Rs 14 crore from defaulting officers in January-August 2003.

The CVC has also warned officers of those public sector companies where government proposes to dilute its majority equity stake. The jurisdiction of CVC will extend to all companies irrespective of governments equity stake in them so long as the government continues to exercise administrative control over the organisation which includes appointment of the chief executive officers and board members.

The clarification assumes significance in the light of a reported statement made by the high profile former chief vigilance commissioner N Vittal, who had said that the CVCs jurisdiction over the public sector banks would end as soon as the governments shareholding in such banks falls below 51 per cent.

Mr Vittal was quoted in a report: According to my understanding and considering what Article 12 of the Constitution has to say about a State, my jurisdiction over the public sector banks would go as soon as the stake of the government falls below 51 per cent.