CVC can now probe corruption cases in private sector banks

  • The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) can now probe allegations of corruption in private sector banks and against their employees.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given the necessary approval to the CVC on this.
  • The move comes after the Supreme Court last year ruled that the chairman, managing directors and other officers of a private bank could be seen as public servants when it came to the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act, 1988. The anti-corruption watchdog is the statutory body which probes cases of graft involving central government departments, public sector organisations (including banks and insurance companies) and their employees.
  • The apex court had said all officials working in banks operating under an RBI licence would be defined as public servants under the PC Act. It had said bank employees, private or public, were on public duty and therefore came under the law.
  • The Supreme Court had also referred to Section 46A of the Banking Regulation Act and said that such bank officials were considered public officials.
  • The CVC has also started sharing cases of criminal conspiracy and corruption with agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for probes.

Central Vigilance Commission:

  • It was created via executive resolution (based on the recommendations of Santhanam committee) in 1964 but was conferred with statutory status in 2003.
  • It is the apex vigilance institution.
  • Presently, the body consists of central vigilance commissioner along with 2 vigilance commissioners.
  • They are appointed by the President of India on the recommendations of a committee consisting of Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha (if there is no LoP then the leader of the single largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha).
  • Their term is 4 years or 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • It submits its report to the President of India.
  • The Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner can be removed from his office only by order of the President on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity after the Supreme Court, on a reference made to it by the President, has, on inquiry, reported that the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner, as the case may be, ought to be removed.
  • CVC is advisory body.

Source:Indian Express & Laxmikanth

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