Travesty of opportunities

Spokesperson: Shri Manish Tewari: He said that Central Vigilance Commission is an extremely important Institution in the framework of the Republic of India. The CVC administers the Central Vigilance Act of 2003. It exercises superintendence over the CBI with regard to the CBI’s anti-corruption unit. It also administers the Whistleblower’s Act. It has a role to play in the functioning of the Lokpal and, therefore, over a period of time, primarily because of judicial pronouncement, the CVC has been entrusted with increasingly important functions of the Republic. Most importantly, it is the principal watchdog insofar as corruption, indiscretion, malfeasance is concerned with regard to the departments, autonomous bodies, attached institutions of the Government of India. It is, therefore, extremely important that people, who are appointed to the august office of the Central Vigilance Commission either as the Central Vigilance Commissioner or as Vigilance Commissioners, they should be people of absolute, unimpeachable integrity and their process of appointment needs to be absolutely cautious. It has to be above board. Unfortunately, what happened yesterday, has completely and absolutely vitiated the process of appointing the next Chief Vigilance Commissioner and a Vigilance Commissioner and the facts, as they stand very clearly and unimpeachably, demonstrate that both procedure as well as propriety were absolutely thrown to winds at the level of the Prime Minister of India and the Home Minister of India.

Now the recommendations for the CVC, the panel which was sent to the High Powered Committee, it consisted of Mr. Ajay Narain Jha, presently the Member of the 15th Finance Commission; Mr. Rajiv Kumar, Finance Secretary and Mr. Bhanu Pratap Sharma, former Secretary DoPT in the Government of India. Did you notice something amiss – the Finance Secretary was a Member of the Search Committee, the Finance Secretary was an applicant for the post of CVC and the Search Committee, then recommends one of the Members of the Search Committee to be appointed as the CVC? And very conveniently at that meeting, Mr. Rajiv Kumar rescues himself that since I am an applicant I will not be a part of this deliberation. This is a complete travesty. How can an applicant be a Member of the Search Committee? This gives him unequal access to the other Members and then as Member of the Search Committee, he is adjudicating on his own peers including the appointment of the Vigilance Commissioner and some of the applicants had applied for both the positions of the Central Vigilance Commissioner and the Vigilance Commissioner. Now this is absolutely unheard of. It is bizarre that you be a Judge in your own case. Wednesday, 19th February, 2020