The Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared the decks for the appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner by lifting a five-month-old embargo on processing the appointment in the wake of a pending PIL.
Expressing satisfaction over the selection process, a bench led by Chief Justice of India H L Dattu modified its December 17 order wherein the government was asked to take its permission before going ahead with the process of appointing the CVC and a VC. Both posts are vacant for almost six months now.
On Wednesday, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the bench that the applications of all 130 aspirants for the two positions have to be considered by a high-powered panel, headed by the PM. He said 10 names have been shortlisted for each post and entire list would be placed before the selection panel, also comprising Home Minister and Leader of the single largest opposition party in Lok Sabha. Rohatgi sought an approval for the selection process to proceed.
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The bench accepted the Centre’s request in view of “urgency” of the matter. It, however, asked Rohatgi to produce all records. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioner NGO Centre for Integrity, Governance and Training in Vigilance Administration, said all records, including the list of persons, who applied for the posts, must be supplied to him to ascertain if the government was following the due process.
“If the entire list is placed before the panel, it will look into credentials of the persons and do the selection,” replied the bench. The court also clarified that it was not closing the matter and all questions relating to legality of the process would remain open.