New Delhi: The Central Vigilance Commission acted on a number of corruption cases and directed CBI probe in coal blocks allocation scam and recovery of about Rs 1,000 crore tax evasion in Commonwealth Games-related works on 2012, besides other anti-graft measures. The probity watchdog was also chosen to head a 10-member global task force to prepare a knowledge management system for promoting international cooperation in checking graft and black money.
In its bid to ensure transparency in governance, the CVC directed rotation of officers handling sensitive posts, expediting cases of corruption involving senior government officials and regulations in public procurement, a government activity susceptible to corruption. It also suggested the government to introduce and implement a US-type False Claims Act to recover losses from a corrupt government contractor. The Commission received over 25,000 complaints of financial irregularities and made recoveries of at least Rs 142 crore after inspecting works, including public procurement, carried out by different organisations.
The CVC, which went into alleged irregularities in CWG- related civic and construction projects, found tax evasion of Rs 1,014.60 crore by government departments and private companies. It slapped notices for recovery of over Rs 500 crore tax allegedly evaded by government departments and private firms while executing the works.
According to Vigilance Commissioner R Srikumar, a multi- jurisdictional inquiry found evasions of Income Tax, Service Tax and Value Added Tax among others. At least 9,000 publicly-funded projects were executed by 37 government departments and private companies for the mega sporting event held in New Delhi on October 3-14, 2010.
The CVC is looking into 28 cases of alleged irregularities in CWG works. The CVC, which has probed crucial cases, including 2G spectrum allocation scam and directed CBI inquiry, also referred alleged irregularities in coal blocks allocation for further probe by the investigating agency. The coal blocks were allocated to private companies between 2006 and 2009.
Besides, a decision to assign the role of heading the task force to the probity watchdog was taken recently by International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities, an independent, non-political anti-corruption organisation of more than 300 members including India, in October. The project involves development of a centralised user friendly information handling system to gather data about anti-corruption activities around the world and process them into information useful to all stakeholders.
The Vigilance Eye or vigeye, developed by CVC to enable a person to file a corruption related complaint online or through mobile phone, received appreciation at various national and international forums during the conference attended by the officials of anti-corruption watchdog.
In order to speed up its probe, the Central Vigilance Commission also decided to do away with second stage consultation, a process of taking advice before imposing punishment on a corrupt official, and directed all inquiries should be done at one go. The CVC is also emphasising on needs to check corruption in private sector and supported necessary regulations to check it.
The watchdog also put details of corrupt officials along with their designations on its websites. In 2012, the CVC recommended punishment to over 1,000 officials, including some senior level functionaries, for their alleged involvement in corruption.