Decide vigilance clearance for All India Services officers within 3 months: CVC
- The apex vigilance body said that the cadre controlling authorities must strictly adhere to the guidelines before approaching it for vigilance clearance.
The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has asked all the Cadre controlling authorities of three All India Services - Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) - to accord vigilance clearance to officers, against whom any complaint is pending, in case the government of the state, where they are posted, doesn’t respond within three months.
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) is the cadre controlling authority for IAS; ministry of home affairs (MHA) for the IPS while the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEF) is the controlling authority for the IFoS.
In an order issued on Thursday, reviewed by HT, the CVC has said that the guidelines issued by the Centre in 2007 pertaining to vigilance clearance are not being followed by the cadre controlling authorities “due to which, long pending complaints are shown against the officers names while seeking vigilance clearance for the officer from the CVC”.
It has said that “in some cases, officers are not even aware that a complaint is pending against them”.
The apex vigilance body added that cadre controlling authorities must strictly adhere to these guidelines before approaching it for vigilance clearance.
The vigilance clearance is sought for AIS (All India Services) officers at the time of their empanelment, deputation, appointments to sensitive posts and assignments to training programmes to ascertain if any officer has a complaint pending against him or her for possession of disproportionate assets, moral turpitude, corruption, or violation of AIS conduct rules at the place of current posting.
The complaints against officers are often referred to the states, where they are posted, for their views.
According to the 2007 guidelines, in cases where complaints have been referred to the state, and no substantive response has been received from within three months from the date on which the reference was made, the Cadre controlling authority (DoPT, MHA and MoEF) may provide a copy of the complaint to the concerned officer to seek his comments. “If the comments are found to be prima facie satisfactory by the competent authority, vigilance clearance shall be accorded,” the guidelines add.
The guidelines clearly assert, that in case, the comments are not received in a complaint against an officer within three months, it will be presumed that there is nothing adverse against the officer.
Vigilance clearance cannot be withheld against AIS officers unless the officer is under suspension; or a charge sheet has been filed against him/her; officer is involved in a trap/raid case on charges of corruption; disciplinary proceedings have been concluded through a charge sheet by concerned department; or sanction of prosecution has been granted against the officer under the Prevention of Corruption Act.