Supreme Court (SC) on 17 December 2014 directed the Union government to not appoint the Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) and Vigilance Commissioner (VC) without its approval.
The apex court asked the Union to constitute a panel comprising of 15 names to select the CVC and submit it in a sealed envelope by 15 January 2015.
Although the court allowed the Union government to continue with the selection process but asked it to submit the details of the selection process. To which, Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi informed the court that he will submit the relevant details in sealed cover.
The direction was given by a SC bench comprising of Chief Justice of India Justice H L Dattu and Justice Madan B Lokur.
The direction was given by the SC while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Centre for Integrity, Governance and Training in Vigilance Administration.
In the PIL, the NGO alleged that the selection process for the CVC being done by the Union is opaque as vacancies related to the post of CVC and one VC has not been widely publicized keeping the door closed to common man. The post of CVC and VCs has been lying vacant since the completion of tenure of the then CVC Pradip Kumar and the then VC J M Garg on 28 September 2014 and 7 September 2014 respectively.
The NGO further contended that Union government ought to have similar procedure for making appointment of CVC and VCs as is being done in the case of filling up one post of chairperson and eight posts of members in the Lokpal under the provisions of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013.
Earlier on 18 September 2014, the apex court had rapped the Union for lack of transparency in the selection procedure of CVC and VC on the grounds that this will promote favouritism and nepotism. It asked the Union to widen the selection procedure by picking even the common man and not only bureaucrats.
To this, the Attorney-General submitted to the court that the Cabinet Secretary and 36 other secretaries had proposed the names of 120 people for the post. Out of this 20 names were selected and only five people were shortlisted from this and forwarded to the selection committee.
Central Vigilance Commission Act 2003
Central Vigilance Commission Act 2003 that came into effect on 11 September 2003 provides for composition and selection procedure of the Commission.
Composition: The Commission shall consist of a Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) as Chairperson and 2 Vigilance Commissioners (VC) as member
Eligibility: The Central Vigilance Commissioner and the Vigilance Commissioners shall be appointed from amongst persons—
Appointment: The CVC and the VCs shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal provided that
Who: Supreme Court (SC)
What: 17 December 2014