The Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) has said that the lokpal should focus only on political corruption amid a raging debate over the lower bureaucracy being brought under the proposed ombudsman.
Questioning the consensus on the higher bureaucracy being brought under the lokpal, CVC Pradeep Kumar said it should come under the CVC, a statutory body whose brief is to check corruption and ensure accountability of government officials.
Kumar said the lokpal should deal with “grand political corruption”, civil servants who might have connived to facilitate it and corporate corruption.
“We want to work closely with the lokpal but bringing the higher bureaucracy under it would be akin to reinventing the wheel. The CVC should remain the apex integrity institution for all categories of the bureaucracy. That should not be tampered with,” Kumar said.
The commission will articulate its reservations to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice shortly.
Powers to investigate senior officials will be the cornerstone of the new anti-graft proposals to be unveiled by the CVC before the parliamentary panel.
Kumar said the government’s sanction should not be required for investigating bureaucrats of the rank of joint secretary and above.
“The CVC must be empowered to grant that sanction. The Central Bureau of Investigation should register a preliminary enquiry to probe senior officers in corruption cases on the CVC’s instructions,” Kumar said.