Anti-corruption activist Ajay Dubey said all authorities concerned should follow the directive.
The Central Vigilance Commission has asked public sector banks, insurance companies, and central government departments not to engage retired employees in investigating corruption cases.
The assertion comes after it was noticed that some organisations were appointing retired employees as investigating officers, contrary to its existing nearly two-decade-old directive in this regard.
Moreover, it is also important that the vigilance functionaries are made accountable and subjected to disciplinary action if they are found to have compromised confidentiality, objectivity, or integrity, in the discharge of duties assigned to them, the commission said.
The same is not possible in the case of retired officials, as conduct and disciplinary rules do not apply to them for any post-retirement misconduct, it said in the latest order.
The commission had in August 2000 directed that vigilance functionaries in any organisation shall be full-time employees and that a retired staffer should not be appointed as a consultant to perform vigilance functions.
"However, it has been observed that some of the organisations are still appointing retired employees as investigating officers, to conduct an investigation, which is an important vigilance function," the probity watchdog said in the order dated January 13.
The order was issued to secretaries of all central government ministries/departments, chief executives of central public sector undertakings, banks, and insurance companies, among others.
Given the important role played by vigilance functionaries, including investigating officers, the commission has decided to reiterate its earlier directions that the vigilance functionaries should always be full-time employees of the respective organisations and in no case a retired staffer should be appointed, in any capacity, to perform any vigilance function, the order said seeking "strict compliance" to it.
The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) said that investigating officers and other vigilance functionaries play a crucial role as they are responsible for recording statements, examining various aspects of a case, preparation of investigation reports and safe custody of documents, including classified ones.
Keeping in view the vital role of investigating officers and other vigilance functionaries in the detection, probe and processing of vigilance-related matter, it is very important that vigilance functionaries, including the investigation officers, are not susceptible to any kind of undue influence, the CVC said.
Anti-corruption activist Ajay Dubey said all authorities concerned should follow the CVC's directive in toto.
"Impartial investigation of any corruption case is of paramount importance. All central government departments, public sector banks and insurance companies must ensure strict compliance with the CVC's order to rule out possibilities of any undue influence in probing graft cases," he said.
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