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CVC calls for penalty for 'motivated' complaints of corruption

PTI 18 Jun 2015, 16:00:35 IST

New Delhi:  Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) K V Chowdary today advocated penal provisions for people who file "motivated and vexatious complaints" of corruption against government employees.

Supporting systematic technological and procedural changes to check corruption, he said the Central Vigilance Commission will change "kuch nahi hota hai" (nothing happens) attitude from the minds of corrupt people by taking stern action against them.

"Motivated and vexatious complaints need to be checked. There has to be some penal provisions to deter them," Chowdary told PTI in an interview.

He acknowledged a trend showing surge of complaints alleging corruption against a senior government employees being considered for vigilance clearance by the Commission for promotion, empanelment and new posting.

"I have been a bureaucrat. There are complaints of alleged corruption, anonymous and pseudonymous, against an officer being considered for appointment or promotion. As per government's policy, no action is taken on anonymous complaint but those with verifiable facts are looked into," Chowdary

He said steps would be taken to standardise government process so that people are not forced to give bribe or resort to other means.

"Suppose you make an application for a housing loan or education loan, now you don't have to run 10 times before the bank if you have given all the necessary documents. And if the bank finds that you are a good customer they can give.

"But if you don't have any process then you apply today and somebody applies after a month, his application is processed first whereas your application is not processed. Of course, they have to take decision on merit. We would like to bring some systematic advises so that people whose work needs to be done, there work will be done without they having to facing any kind of improper or illegal moves," said Chowdary, who took over as CVC last week.

He said the Commission's focus would be on those areas of corruption which affects the public directly like railways and other central government offices involved in public dealing.  

The CVC will be writing to Chief Vigilance Officers working in central government ministries to find out what those areas of corruption are and how the work can be standardised. "Accordingly, we would issue the advisories to them," he said.

Chowdary, a former chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), took over as Central Vigilance Commissioner on June 9. His name for CVC was cleared by the Prime Minister-led selection committee.

He also rejected the allegations levelled by senior Supreme Court lawyers Ram Jethmalani and Prashant Bhushan against his selection as CVC. "I reject those allegations. I will let my work speak for myself," Chowdary said.

Both Jethmalani and Bhushan had questioned his credentials for the job.

"My first priority is to improve the preventive vigilance aspect of the Central Vigilance Commission. The preventive vigilance is very important because it is better to prevent the happening of corruption rather then running after it and punish the people. Like you say prevention is better than cure.

"For doing this we would like to identify the areas where there is a scope for corruption. In small areas," he said.  

Chowdary said the Commission would educate the public to not to resort to corruption by paying bribes.  

"We want to educate the public that where there is a shortcut available, please do not take it. As far as general public is concerned, who are concerned for public delivery, that will take care of lot of issues," he said.