SC notice over PIL on vigilance officials

New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the central government on a petition by NGO Common Cause seeking the quashing of the appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) K.V. Chaudhary and Vigilance Commissioner (VC) T.M. Bhasin as their appointment was said to have breached the principle of “institutional integrity”.

The notice has also been issued to Chaudhary and Bhasin.

The apex court bench of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu, Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Amitava Roy sought responses from the central government as well as Chaudhary and Bhasin in two weeks. It gave a week’s time to Common Cause to file a rejoinder if any.

The NGO’s counsel urged the court to direct the government to make available the minutes of the meeting wherein Chaudhary and Bhasin were appointed the CVC and VC respectively.

He also sought the material that was placed before the Selection Committee relating to Chaudhary and Bhasin. The court asked Bhushan to make an appropriate application for seeking these records.

The PIL by the Common Cause and some others had sought to declare the appointment of Chaudhary and Bhasin as “illegal and void” as it violated the principles of “impeccable integrity” and “institutional integrity” spelt out by the apex court in earlier judgments.

Even before the appointment of Chaudhary as CVC, the PIL says several representations were made to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others including Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Congress leader Malikarjun Kharge giving specific reasons why he was “not eligible and suitable for heading this important institution”.

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