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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Supreme Court Quashes Thomas Appointment as CVC

Source : Indlaw

The Supreme Court today quashed the appointment of Mr P J Thomas as Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) as non est in the eyes of law.

A bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia, Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar also disapproved the approach of the three-member selection panel comprising Prime Minister Mammohan Singh, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and directed that in future the dissenting member of the panel will give reasons in writing and if the majority of the members disagree with the opinion of the dissenting member, it will also give reasons in writing. 

The apex court also ruled that in future the selection panel/High Powered Committee (HPC) will take an informed decision regarding the antecedents of the selected candidate and the choice of the candidate at the time of empanelment of the candidate shall not be confined only to civil servant/bureaucrat. 

The apex court ruled that in the present case the HPC has failed to take into consideration the notings of DoPT (Department of Personnel and Training) during 2000-2004 which recommended imposition of penalty on Thomas.

The apex court also declared CVC as 'integrity institution' and held that impeccable integrity of the candidate selected as head of the top anti-corruption statutory body must be taken into consideration. 

The apex court ruled that the recommendation of the HPC dated December 3,2010 in selecting Thomas as the CVC is illegal and therefore the appointment made on the basis of such recommendation is non est (non existent) in the eyes of law and therefore the appointment also goes and is quashed. 

The apex court cited the functioning of top anti-corruption bodies in countries like US, UK, Australia, Hong Kong etc where such integrity institutions and the appointment of the post of CVC is made. 

In India it is a constitutional post and CVC has to decide and oversee the investigation in corruption cases against public servant and therefore impeccable integrity is a must.

Find the copy of the Judgment here.


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