President's secretary Sanjay Kothari next CVC, ex-IAS officer Julka to be CIC: Officials

The Central Vigilance Commission is an-corruptiom watchdog with autonomous status
Last Updated 19 February 2020, 15:44 IST

Sanjay Kothari, the Secretary to the President, has been selected as the new Central Vigilance Commissioner by a high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an official said on Wednesday.

The committee has also chosen former Information and Broadcasting Secretary Bimal Julka, currently serving as an Information Commissioner, as the new Chief Information Commissioner in the Central Information Commission.

Sources said the recommendation for the appointment of Kothari and Julka, who are retired Indian Administrative Service(IAS) officers, by a majority decision was opposed by Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. The selection panel also included Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

"Kothari and Julka have been selected as the next CVC and CIC," said a senior government official, who did not want to be named.

The three-member panel also decided by majority the appointment of Suresh Patel as Vigilance Commissioner and Anita Pandove as Information Commissioner.

The orders relating to the appointments are awaiting a formal approval from President Ram Nath Kovind.

The Congress termed the process adopted for the appointment of the next Central Vigilance Commissioner as "illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional" and demanded immediate scrapping of the decision.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the government should initiate a fresh process for appointing the next CVC by inviting applications again.

"We demand that the entire process be scrapped in its entirety and a de novo process started by inviting applications afresh. There needs to be proper application of mind," he told reporters.

Tewari claimed that it is clear that the government has a lot to hide and wants the CVC to be a "rubber stamp".

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also attacked the government over the appointment of the CVC and CIC and alleged there is no place for transparency, accountability and constitutional processes in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'New India, which was fatal for democracy.

He alleged that the appointments of CVC and CIC are being made arbitrarily on the lines of "khul ja sim sim" (open sesame).

"Arbitrariness in top judicial institutions is fatal for democracy," he said.

"The appointments of CVC and CIC are being made on the lines of 'open sesame'. Bring out names from the pocket and make appointments, that's it. There is no place left for transparency, accountability, constitutional processes and compliance of law in Modi ji's 'New India'," he charged on Twitter.

The Central Vigilance Commission is an-corruption watchdog with autonomous status.

It is free of control from any executive authority and has the responsibility of monitoring all vigilance activities in the Central government besides advising various authorities in planning, executing, reviewing and reforming their vigilance work.

The Central Information Commission was constituted under the Right to Information(RTI) Act and has the jurisdiction over all central public authorities.

(Published 19 February 2020, 06:42 IST)

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