Wednesday, December 10, 2014
No need to investigate anonymous / pseudonyms complaints even if there were any "verifiable facts" - CVC issued fresh guidelines
The Central Vigilance Commission has withdrawn a 12-year-old circular that urged government departments to investigate allegations of corruption if there was prima facie evidence, even if complaints were submitted by anonymous people or those using pseudonyms. The circular was meant to protect whistle blowers, revelation of whose identity could prove detrimental and deter them from bringing to light cases of corruption.
However, complainants who desire to protect their identity for fear of consequences have the protection of the Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informers Resolution, 2004, where the identity of the complainant would be kept a secret, if complaint is filed to the CVC under this provision.Withdrawal of the circular would mean that any complaint which does not carry the name of complainant or one with a wrong identity would be rejected, irrespective of the seriousness of the allegation or verifiable facts presented with the complaint.
An official claimed this was been done to ensure honest officials were not harassed through anonymous complaints of corruption and also to address perception of policy paralysis in bureaucracy. The circular issued in 2002 had said that government departments or Central Vigilance Officers (CVOs) can look into anonymous complaints after prior CVC concurrence if there were any "verifiable" facts in the complaint. CVC, in a circular to all ministries and CVOs on November 25 has now said the 2002 CVC circular stands withdrawn with immediate effect.