07 May, 2021

An Old Boys Club?

The appointment of an IAS officer as Central Vigilance Commissioner sparks off a row

An Old Boys Club?

IS the appointment of N. Vittal as Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) going against the grain of the 1997 Supreme Court ruling which directed the Centre to set up a commission to oversee the functioning of investigative agencies like the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate? All that the court had wanted is to protect the agencies from executive and legislative interference. But it hasn't quite worked out that way.

Vittal, a 1962 batch IAS officer, is suitably low-profile but what has made his appointment controversial is the manner in which certain Supreme Court directives as well as Law Commission recommendations have been flouted while framing the CVC ordinance. The most damaging point of conflict revolves around the selection of the CVC.

Justice J.S. Verma and the Law Commission had stated that the CVC's post would not be restricted to a bureaucrat. But the ordinance clearly lays down that "the CVC and the two vigilance commissioners shall be appointed from persons who are or have been in an all India service"....

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