Don't appoint CVC, VC without our permission, SC tells Centre

Don't appoint CVC, VC without our permission, SC tells Centre

The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to take its prior "leave" before going ahead with the appointment of the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) and Vigilance Commissioner and also sought records pertaining to the selection process in a sealed cover.

"We are not concerned who is appointed. Our duty is to see that proper procedure is followed. We believe that he (Attorney General) will not proceed further without our leave. Come back to us before you go to the President," a bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice Madan B Lokur said.

It, however, allowed the Centre to continue with the selection process including the scrutiny of applications of candidates.

"Now come up with the records. If we are satisfied then only you can go ahead," the bench said.

"I will file the affidavit and other documents in a sealed cover," Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said.

"Done," the court said and fixed the matter for hearing on January 15 and did not allow the plea of senior advocate Ram Jethmalani to look into alleged lapses in putting out the advertisement by the Centre on the ground that it did not carry the pre-requisites for becoming the CVC and VC.

"When you give the advertisements. You must spell out the functions, duties and qualifications...nothing is mentioned in the advertisement," Jethmalani said.

"I am a big supporter of Modi goverment. I want it to succeed," the veteram lawyer said.
"Then wait for sometime" the bench said, adding that it will look into other aspects at the relevant time.

"Let us see how they proceed. They have been advised by the Attorney General of India," it said. Rohatgi responded by saying, "we will follow the proper procedure."

The bench was hearing a PIL filed by NGO Centre for Integrity, Governance and Training in Vigilance Administration, alleging that Government was going ahead with the appointment of CVC and VC without giving wide publicity to the vacancies arising on the completion of tenure of the then CVC Pradip Kumar and the then VC J M Garg.

Kumar and Garg completed their tenure on September 28 and September 7, respectively.

During the hearing on September 18, the apex court had rapped the Centre for lack of transparency in the selection process of CVC and VC, following which government gave the assurance that no final decision will be taken without its nod.

Raising questions on lack of transparency in selection process of CVC and VCs, the apex court had said this promotes "favouritism and nepotism" and had asked why only bureaucrats are picked for the posts and not common people.

Enumerating the selection process, the Attorney General had submitted that the Cabinet Secretary and 36 other secretaries propose the names of 120 people for the post out of which 20 names are taken and five people are shortlisted and forwarded to the selection committee.

The PIL had referred to the July 21 letter issued by the Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), to Secretaries in the government to suggest names for empanelment for the post of CVC and VC, allegedly aimed at keeping away common people.

The NGO had contended the Centre ought to have similar procedure for making appointment of CVC and VCs as is being done in the case of filling up one post of chairperson and eight posts of members in the Lokpal under the provisions of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013.

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