SC to examine whether CVC, VC met criteria of having impeccable integrity

SC to examine whether CVC, VC met criteria of having impeccable integrity

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would examine whether a person appointed to the posts of Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) and Vigilance Commissioners (VC) met the criteria of having “impeccable integrity”.

A division bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice M.M. Shantanagoudar said: “The question is of impeccable integrity and not political favouritism. The person should be of impeccable integrity. We will go into this aspect.”

During the hearing, the bench asked Attorney General K.K. Venugopal whether the decision taken by the selection committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the Leader of Opposition was unanimous.

Replying in affirmative, Venugopal said it was an administrative decision and the extent of judicial review in such matter was “very limited”.

The court was hearing a plea seeking quashing of the appointment of CVC K.V. Chaudhary and VC T.M. Bhasin as their appointment was allegedly in breach of the principle of “institutional integrity”.

Chaudhary was appointed as the CVC on June 6, 2015, while Bhasin took charge as the VC on June 11, 2015.

The PIL filed by NGO Common Cause through counsel Prashant Bhushan has urged the court to declare the appointments as “illegal and void” as they violated the principles of “impeccable integrity” and “institutional integrity” spelt out by the apex court in earlier judgments.

The plea alleged that both did not have “clean record” and a non-transparent procedure was followed while appointing them.

On the allegations of Bhushan, Venugopal told the bench all the aspects in the petition were considered and discussed by the committee before arriving at a decision.

The inquiries as alleged by Bhushan were closed after deliberation, said Venugopal.

The court now posted the matter for September 7.

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