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SC upholds appointments of CVC K.V. Chaudhary, VC T.M. Bhasin. Photo: HT
SC upholds appointments of CVC K.V. Chaudhary, VC T.M. Bhasin. Photo: HT

Supreme court dismisses plea challenging appointment of CVC

A plea had alleged that the appointments committee had ignored 'serious charges' of impropriety against K.V. Chaudhary and T.M. Bhasin

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a plea challenging the appointment of former Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) head K.V. Chowdhary as the chief vigilance commissioner and former chairman and managing director of Indian Bank T.M. Bhasin as vigilance commissioner.

“As in the instant matter, complaints have been looked into and we decline to interfere... Resultantly, we find no grounds to quash the appointment of the respondents (Chowdhary and Bhasin)," the order states.

“It is not for this Court to decide on the choice. We are nowadays in the scenario that such complaints cannot be takne at face value. Even against very honest persons, allegations can be made. Those days have gone when filing of complaints was taken as serious aspersions on integrity. Ideally, there should not be any serious complaints as the filing of the same raises eyebrows," the 86-page order states.

In September last year, a division bench of Justices Arun Mishra and M.M. Shantanagoudar had reserved its verdict after hearing arguments of the petitioners—Center For Integrity Governance & Training In Vigilance and Administration, an NGO and Common Cause.

The Centre had appointed Chowdary as chief vigilance commissioner on 6 June 2015 and Bhasin as vigilance commissioner on 11 June 2015 for a period of four years.

Seeking to quash their appointment for being illegal and void, petitioners had alleged that Chaudhary and Bhasin did not have a “clean record" and a non-transparent procedure was followed while appointing them.

There were serious charges against the two officers, which were not examined at the time of their appointment, it was argued.

It was further alleged that the appointments were “arbitrary, illegal and in violation of the principle of institutional integrity".

The Centre had defended their appointments, saying it was cleared unanimously by a three-member committee comprising the prime minister, the home minister and the and leader of opposition. Appearing for the Centre, attorney general K.K. Venugopal said every aspect was considered by the selection committee before they were chosen.

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