HC seeks Centre’s reply on plea against AIIMS CVO appointment
The Delhi high court on Wednesday asked the government, Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and AIIMS to respond to a plea seeking quashing of “illegal” appointment of the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of the premier medical institute.
A Bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath issued notices to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Secretary of the CVC and the Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), asking them to file counter affidavits before August 26. The plea, filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan, sought quashing of the Ministry’s April 1 order appointing Manoj Jhalani as the new AIIMS CVO, alleging it violated the provisions of the Vigilance Manual.
“The actions of the ministry are shattering the faith and belief of society and undermining the image of the Institute. If this illegal arrangement is not prevented, it will undermine the sanctity of the very concept of the rule of law,” the petition said. Jhalani was assigned the charge of CVO initially for three months on August 14, 2014, which was extended by another three months on November 7, 2014 by the ministry, which, the plea said, “is not the appropriate authority to do so.”
The ministry officially appointed him as the CVO through an order on April 1 this year. “AIIMS is a premier institute which is established with a view to have an autonomous professional body to lead the health sector in the country.
“One of the vicious fall outs of the illegal arrangement set in place by the Ministry from August, 2014 has been that, all the corruption cases which were initiated, investigated and were reaching finality, are either been reversed or kept in abeyance or are pending for approvals,” the plea said.