Published On: October 14, 2021 at 19:14 IST
The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has been authorized by the government of India to receive the written complaints for misuse of office or the disclosure on any allegation of corruption and recommended appropriate action under the Public Interest Disclosure & Protection of Informers (PIDPI) Resolution, 2004.
This Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informers resolution is a resolution of the government of India which has been authorized as the ‘Designated Agency’. It is made to receive the written complaints from general public which is mainly on the topic of corruption and misuse of office by the employ which is owned by the Central Government. It is only under the PIDPI resolution that the complaint’s identity is kept secret and the complainant is protected from being the victim for making such complaints.
Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)
The Central Vigilance Commission was set up by the Government of India by its declaration/resolution which are made by the committee on Prevention of Corruption. This committee is presently known as Santhanam Committee. This Commission controls over vigilance matters in the administration and honesty in the public life.
At the central level this Commission controls the appointment for its officers whose main role is to play a crucial role in public undertakings and in the task assigned to the Commission. Adding to this the duty of this commission is also to maintain the integrity, purity and efficiency of the department.
This is the only Commission which is authorized by the government to receive the written complaints under PIDPI Resolution.
Provisions of the Resolution
- It is the CVC that is authorized as the Designated agency to receive the written complaints under any Central Act, Governmental Companies, Societies or the Local authorities which is owned by the Central Government.
- The Chief Vigilance Officers of the ministers or the departments of the Government of India which is also known as the Designated Authority. This authority is made to receive written complaint or disclosure on any allegation of corruption which is falling under the jurisdiction of the Ministry or the Department.
- The complaint shall contain all the particulars that are possible and the particulars should be supported by the documents.
- If the complaint contained the particulars of the complainant, the designated authority shall take the following steps:
- First the authority will confirm from the person whether he was the one who made a complaint
- Unless the complainant himself has made the details of the complaint public or has disclosed his identity, his identity will not be revealed.
- The designated officer will make appropriate machinery after concealing the identity of the complainant to discreet inquiries to ascertain if there is any basis of proceeding further with the complaint.
- Either as a result of discreet inquiry or on the basis of complaint itself if the designated authority without any inquiry is of the opinion that the matter requires to be investigated further, the authority shall officially seek explanation from the Head of the concerned department to keep the identity of the complainant secret, for if any reason the concerned head comes to know about the identity.
- After obtaining the response of the concerned organization if the authority is of the opinion that the further investigation will either misuse of office or substantiate the allegations of corruption due to which the designated authority recommends appropriate action to the concerned authority. These shall include the following:
- Against the concerned government servant an appropriate proceeding should be initiated.
- As a result of the corrupt act or misuse of office an appropriate administrative steps should be made for redressing the loss caused to the Government.
- If warranted by the facts and circumstances of the suitable case it s recommended to the appropriate authority or agency initiation of criminal proceedings.
- To prevent the recurrency of such events in the future it is recommended to take the corrective measures.
- The Designated Authority shall be authorized to call upon the CBI or police authorities for the purpose of making discreet inquiry or obtaining information from the concerned organization. It is considered necessary to render all the assistance to complete the investigation to the complaint received.
- The Designated Authority seeks redress in the matter of filed application on the ground that the aggrieved person is being victimized due to the reason that he had filed complaint. The Designated Authority may give suitable directions to the public authority or the concerned person as the case may be.
- The Designated Authority shall issue appropriate directions to the concerned government authorities which is based upon either the application of the complainant or on the basis of information gathered. And if the Authority is of the view that either the complainant or the witness needs protection.
- The Designated Authority shall also take up the matter with the Central Vigilance Commission for issuing appropriate directions to the Governmental Authorities concerned.
- It is only if the complaint is received under this machinery that the secrecy of the identity is observed. Hence this machinery evolved herein shall be in addition to the existing mechanism.
- If in case the Designated Authority finds the complaint to be motivated he shall be at the liberty to take appropriate steps.
- This Authority shall not entertain the disclosure of the following:
- Which is the formal and public inquiry that has been ordered under the Public Inquiries Act, 1850 or
- Which has been referred for inquiry under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952
- The Designated Authority is authorized to initiate an appropriate action as per extant regulations against the person or agency making such disclosure in the event of the identity of the informant being disclosed in spite of the directions to Designated Authority.
- The CVC shall supervise and monitor the complaints as received by the Designated Authority.
- The machinery shall operate till the Parliament passes a law on the subject.
How to Lodge a PIDPI Complaint?
The complaint under this resolution is lodged under the procedure which is as follows:
- The complaint should be in a secured secured envelope which should be addressed to the secretary of the Central Vigilance Commission and the envelope should be clearly inscribed with PIDPI.
- The complainant should give his personal details such as his/ her name and address at the beginning or the end of the attached letter. One thing should be kept in mind that the personal details of the complainant should not be inscribed on the envelope.
- Only those complaints that come under the Central Government of under any corporation which is established under any of the Central Act, any Governmental Companies or local authorities fall under the jurisdiction of the Commission.
- Complaints that are received via emails, Complaint Management Portal or any other electronic medium will not be entertained. It is only the complaints that are sent via post will be entertained.
- The Commission assures that the subjects to the facts of the case as verifiable as provided under the order that is to protect identity of the person, the Commission will not issue any acknowledgement and the whistle blowers are advised not to enter into any correspondence with the Commission of their own interest or else it will take the necessary action.
- The complaints should not have or be for mere grievance redressal but should have vigilance angle.
- Under PIDPI complaints the details and identity of the complainant should not be included. If such inclusion is unavoidable then a normal complaint might be lodgeg in the CVC.
- Krishan Kumar Vs Central Vigilance Commission[i]
There are certain categories of complaints received under the PIDPI Resolution where it is not possible to maintain confidentiality about the identity of Complainant
It was held that it is the constant endeavour of CVC to protect the interests of the whistleblowers whether it is a PIDPI or non PIDPI complaint. It was further held that the No Objection Certificate is obtained from them before processing their complaints. On receipt of the No Objection Certificate, the complaints are processed and placed before the Screening Committee for consideration. Such complaints are considered as Non Public Interest Disclosure and Procedure Informers Complaints but before processing such complaints the identity of the complainant is masked thus taking adequate safeguard in an attempt to maintain the confidentiality about the complainant’s identity.
- Ashwani Kumar Vs Central Vigilence Commission[ii]
Under the RTI Act they are not supposed to disclose any information related to PIDPI Complaints
It was held that for each PIDPI Complaint, a confirmation letter is sent to the Complainant and in the case of the Appellant also it is believed that he would have received the confirmation letter. As for the information sought for in the RTI Application it was submitted that the identity of the complainant is sacred and except for a few officers of the concerned section of CVC, no other officer is entitled to know the contents or the originator of a PIDPI complaint.
- Abdul Hameed Vs Central Vigilence Commission[iii]
Commission note that Respondent office has been routinely denying information under RTI Act as per the complaints under PIDPI
It was held that a copy of this order was marked to the FAA to take note of the adverse observations of the Commission and for taking corrective steps to restore the regimen of transparency and probity in the matters pertaining to the Complaints filed with CVC under PIDPI. Hence the appeal was disposed of accordingly.
- Krishan Kumar Vs Central Vigilence Commission[iv]
No question of Fear of Disclosure of Identity
It was held that the appellant’s disclosure of identity in the course of processing the Complaint and has merely sought to know the fate of a Complaint filed by him, so there is no question of fear of disclosure of his identity.
As the identity of the complainant is sacred and except for a few officers of the concerned section of CVC, no other officer is entitled to know the contents or the originator of a PIDPI Complaint. It was further held that appellant himself has expressed apprehensions of harassment over the complaint said to be filed by him and the disclosure of the information is related to the PIDPI Complaints is not in the best interests of the concerned parties.
- Azam Siddiqui Vs Department of PIDPI[v]
The case had not reached its final conclusion as the Appellant approached to be provided with the information in this case
It was held that as the matter was sub judice and hence could not provide any information to the appellant. The appellant approached the first appellate authority stating the matter was not sub judice in any court therefore he should have been provided with the information in this case. Hence in compliance to the FAA’s it was concluded by CVC through PIDPI Complaint that the appellant came in appeal before the Commission on the grounds of denial of information.
Hence the PIDPI Complaints as amended from time to time has authorized the Chief Vigilance Officer of the Ministries or Department of the Government of India, as the designated authority to receive written complaint or disclosure on any allegation of corruption or misuse of any employee of that ministry or department or of any corporation established under any Central Act.
Government Companies, societies or Local Authorities owned or controlled by the Central Government and fall under the jurisdiction of that Ministry or Department.
Edited by: Aashima Kakkar, Associate Editor, Law Insider
[i] Krishan Kumar Vs Central Vigilance Commission on 16 August, 2021[File No. CIC/CVCOM/A/2019/143947]
[ii] Ashwani Kumar Vs Central Vigilence Commission on 8 June, 2021 [File No. CIC/CVCOM/A/2019/138329]
[iii] O Abdul Hameed Vs Central Vigilence Commission on 11 January, 2021[File No. CIC/CVCOM/A/2018/173997]
[iv] Krishan Kumar Vs Central Vigilence Commission on 5 February, 2021 [File No. CIC/CVCOM/A/2019/113437]
[v] Azam Siddiqui Vs Department of PIDPI on 2 March, 2017 [Appeal No. CIC/SB/A/2016/001060/MP]