PM Manmohand approves guidelines for appointing new CVC, process begins

New Delhi, April 7 (Agencies): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has approved the new guidelines for appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), following which the government today set the ball rolling for choosing a head of the top anti-corruption watchdog after the removal of controversial P J Thomas. The action came a month after the quashing of the appointment of Thomas as CVC by the Supreme Court as he is facing a corruption case.
“We have sent a letter to all Ministries, Departments and PSUs asking them to suggest names for the CVC,” Secretary in the Department of Personnel and Training Alka Sirohi said. Sirohi said the new guidelines for appointing CVC have been framed as per the suggestion of the Supreme Court. Sources said a new CVC is expected to take charge within a month after completion of all formalities and clearance by the High-Powered Committee (HPC) comprising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister P Chidambaram and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.
The Supreme Court had struck down the appointment of Thomas holding that the recommendation by the high-powered committee headed by the Prime Minister is “non est” (does not exist) in law. The Court had said in future appointments to CVC’s post candidates should not be restricted to civil servants alone and that people of impeccable integrity from other fields should also be considered. Thomas was the Telecom Secretary before he was made the CVC in September last year. Government appointed Thomas as CVC despite dissension by Swaraj who was one of the three members in the high-powered committee. The government has already received a few recommendations, including the names of Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil and country’s first IPS officer Kiran Bedi, for the post of CVC.
Sources said the guidelines would broadly highlight complete Annual Confidential Report, dossiers and CVs in case of government servant, as mandated by the apex court. Besides CBI, IB (Intelligence Bureau) clearance is believed to have been suggested for some categories of candidates. In case of a private candidate, a “self declaration by the sponsored person” would be required, sources said. The upper age limit of the candidate is understood to have been fixed at 61 years and with 33 years of experience in case of government officials.