A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi Monday dismissed two PILs and imposed cost of Rs 25,000 on one of them. The first one was by former Navy Chief Admiral (Retd) L Ramdas and others challenging the appointment of ex-NIA chief Sharad Kumar as vigilance commissioner in the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).
The bench of Justices Gogoi, Navin Sinha and K M Joseph questioned the locus standi of the petitioners and said it would hear when those affected by the selection come before it.
“Let the aggrieved persons come. If nobody is aggrieved, why should you be?” the bench asked advocate Prashant Bhushan, who appeared for the petitioners.
Bhushan told the court that the advertisement for the post said that only those below the age of 62 years as on January 1, 2018, could apply. The petition claimed that Kumar was not eligible as he was over 62 years old. The court said, “It is not your case that the advertisement is per-se contrary to the statute” and “if somebody whose life has been invaded upon comes to us, we will hear him. PIL is for those who cannot afford to come to the court. You cannot espouse somebody else’s cause.”
A 1979-batch IPS officer, Kumar was appointed vigilance commissioner on June 10 this year. He retired as NIA chief in September 2017.
The second PIL was from Jharkhand and related to construction of a bridge in Chatra district. The Jharkhand High Court had dismissed the petition and imposed cost on it. This was challenged in the apex court which also dismissed it.