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What is Vigilance Angle?

As elaborated in CVC Manual, vigilance angle is obvious in the following acts

(i) Demanding and/or accepting gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act or for using his influence with any other official.

(ii) Obtaining valuable thing, without consideration or with inadequate consideration from a person with whom he has or likely to have official dealings or his subordinates have official dealings or where he can exert influence.

(iii) Obtaining for himself or for any other person any valuable thing or pecuniary advantage by corrupt or illegal means or by abusing his position as a public servant.

(iv) Possession of assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

(v) Cases of misappropriation, forgery or cheating or other similar criminal offences.

There are, however, other irregularities where circumstances will have to be weighed carefully to take a view whether the officer’s integrity is in doubt. Gross or willful negligence; recklessness in decision making; blatant violations of systems and procedures; exercise of discretion in excess, where no ostensible public interest is evident; failure to keep the controlling authority/ superiors informed in time – these are some of the irregularities where the disciplinary authority with the help of the CVO should carefully study the case and weigh the circumstances to come to a conclusion whether there is reasonable ground to doubt the integrity of the officer concerned. The raison d'être of vigilance activity is not to reduce but to enhance the level of managerial efficiency and effectiveness in the organisation. Commercial risk taking forms part of business. Therefore, every loss caused to the organisation, either in pecuniary or non-pecuniary terms, need not necessarily become the subject matter of a vigilance inquiry. Thus, whether a person of common prudence, working within the ambit of the prescribed rules, regulations and instructions, would have taken the decision in the prevailing circumstances in the commercial/operational interests of the organisation is one possible criterion for determining the bona fides of the case. A positive response to this question may indicate the existence of bonafides. A negative reply, on the other hand, might indicate their absence.

Absence of vigilance angle in various acts of omission and commission does not mean that the concerned official is not liable to face the consequences of his actions. All such lapses not attracting vigilance angle would, indeed, have to be dealt with appropriately as per the disciplinary procedure under the service rules.