Dismissing the Writ Petition filed by a bank employee, the Allahabad High Court held that the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is not an investigating agency in disciplinary proceeding leveled against employees of the bank.
The Petitioner was aggrieved by the charge-sheet drawn against him by the Respondent, the Union Bank of India. He contended that charge-sheet was issued in violation of Rule 19 of the Union Bank of India Officer Employees' (Discipline and Appeal) Regulations, 1976. According to the said Rule, the advice of CVC was mandatory in matters involving vigilance angle, the Petitioner submitted. Reliance was also placed on guidelines issued before CVC to submit that it is mandatory for Public Sector Banks to seek the Commission's first stage advice before preparation of charge sheet in matters indicating angle of vigilance.
The Respondent on the other hand contended that the CVC guidelines did do not have any bearing on the disciplinary proceeding. The role of CVC was merely to advice the bank to guide and to make enquiry from all angles and the issuance of charge sheet could not be quashed for this reason.
Interpreting the language of Rule 19, Justice Sunita Agarwal held that the words used in the rules were "Consultation" with Central Vigilance Commission. The role of CVC is thus advisory in the matter. The court further held that CVC is not an investigating agency for departmental proceedings but rather an apex body of the Government of India, created to address corrupt practices within the Government.
Arguments for the Petitioner were advanced by Senior Advocate Rakesh Pande and for the Respondents by Advocate Vivek Ratan Agrawal.
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