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SC to accord urgent hearing of plea on appointment of CVC, VC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to accord urgent hearing to a plea challenging the appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) KV Chaudhary and Vigilance Commissioner (VC) TM Bhasin on the ground that the two persons “do not have a clean record”.

A Bench of Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice UU Lalit said the matter would be heard on March 29 after the vacation and would not be deleted as senior advocate Ram Jethmalani sought the urgent hearing.

He said the plea would become infructuous if the hearing did not take place as the person, who has become the CVC, would retire after “enjoying fruits of the appointment”. “They have appointed a person (Chaudhary) who, in my opinion, should have been in jail,” Jethmalani said.

“Mr Jethmalani, you argue for bringing people out of jail,” the Bench said and later assured him that the plea would be heard on an urgent basis.

On August 13, 2015, the court had issued a notice to the Centre and others on the plea, challenging the appointment of the CVC and the VC. The plea was filed by NGO Common Cause through lawyer Prashant Bhushan.Jethmalani, who also appeared in the case supporting the plea, had sought the court’s permission to inspect the records filed by the Centre in this regard.

The plea had challenged the appointment of the CVC and the VC, alleging that they did not have a “clean record” and that a “complete non-transparency” procedure was followed while appointing them.

While Chaudhary was appointed as the CVC on June 6, 2015, Bhasin took charge as the VC on June 11 the same year.

The PIL alleged that their appointments were “arbitrary, illegal and in violation of the principle of institutional integrity”.

“The government did not even place the names of short-listed candidates in public domain or the fact that Chaudhary and Bhasin were being considered for the appointment to such important positions,” the plea stated. It said this complete non-transparency renders the appointment “void and illegal”, and in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution. 
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