SC notice to Centre, CVC, VC on plea against appointment

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre and newly appointed Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) K V Chaudhary and Vigilance Commissioner (VC) T M Bhasin on a PIL contending that they were not men of impeccable integrity.

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice H L Dattu sought a response from the Union government and two appointees in the anti-corruption watchdog on the petition filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan on behalf of NGO “Common Cause”.

Bhushan contended that there was a “complete non-transparency” on the part of government in the appointment process. Chaudhary was appointed as CVC on June 6, Bhasin took charge as the VC on June 11 this year after the apex court modified its restraint order and gave the government go-ahead for the purpose. 

During the hearing, Bhushan sought permission to go through records relating to the appointment. Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani supported Bhushan’s plea. The bench, also comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy, however, asked him to file an application in this regard, while asserting that the court would like to go through the records first.
The NGO petitioner, along with a group of eminent citizens had earlier claimed the appointments to the post of the CVC and VC were “arbitrary, illegal and in violation of the principle of institutional integrity”.

Besides, it cited alleged questionable role played by both Chaudhary as then chairperson of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, including his frequent visits to former CBI director Ranjit Sinha’s residence here. The petitioners, including ex-Navy chief Admiral L Ramdas and former Secretary EAS Sarma, also claimed Bhasin as CMD of Indian Bank was indicted by a commission in 2013.

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