In the second meeting on the matter within 10 days, the government and the Opposition on Monday agreed on the names of officials who are to be appointed to the posts of the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) and the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC)—two key posts that have been vacant for over nine months.
While the names were not made public Monday, sources said that a formal announcement will be made once President Pranab Mukherjee gives his assent.
While former CBDT chief K V Chowdary is learnt to be in the running for the CVC’s post, senior most Information Commissioner Vijai Sharma is tipped to be the new CIC.
“The panels have met and their recommendations have been sent to the President’s office. All the names against the vacant posts have been sent to the President. I cannot tell you the names. The meeting was confidential,” Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge told reporters after the meeting.
Asked if there was any disagreement over the names, Kharge said there is no question of agreement or disagreement on the names as of now.
The decision to clear these appointments were reached at two meetings between PM Narendra Modi and Kharge in two different committees. While Home Minister Rajnath Singh attended the meeting to choose the next CVC, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley attended the one to select the next CIC.
Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh was also present at the meetings. Appointments for three vacant posts of Information Commissioners and at least one Vigilance Commissioner were also cleared.
The CIC, which is mandated to resolve appeals and complaints filed against government departments or public authorities by information seekers under the RTI Act, has been working without its chief for over nine months, after the tenure of earlier CIC Rajiv Mathur, head of the transparency watchdog, ended on August 22, 2014. Three posts of Information Commissioners in the CIC are also vacant.
As for the CVC, the term of Central Vigilance Commissioner Pradeep Kumar ended on September 28 while that of Vigilance Commissioner J M Garg ended on September 7. Sources said the government has received about 130 applications for the two posts.