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Appointments of CVC and VC upheld

NEW DELHI, July 2: The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the appointment of Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) K.V. Chowdary and Vigilance Commissioner (VC) TM Bhasin as it rejected a plea challenging their appointments, saying such complaints cannot be taken on face value as these can be made even against “very honest persons”.

Dismissing the pleas by two NGOs ‘Common Cause’ and ‘Centre for Integrity, Governance and Training in Vigilance Administration’, a bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar said: “We find no ground to quash the appointment of CVC Chaudhary and VC Bhasin.”

The petitioners had challenged the appointments, claiming those were allegedly in breach of the principle of “institutional integrity” and they did not have “clean record”.

In its 86-page judgment, the bench stated: “We are nowadays in the scenario that such complaints cannot be taken on face value. Even against very honest persons, allegations can be made. Those days have gone when filing of the complaints was taken as serious aspersions on integrity.
“Ideally, there should not be any serious complaint as the filing of the same raises eyebrows. As in the instant matter, complaints have been looked into and we decline to interfere.”

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, who appeared for Common Cause, had earlier alleged there were serious allegations against Chowdary and Bhasin but these were not looked into by the committee before appointing them. However, the bench in its judgment said that each and every aspect and information had been placed before the High Power Committee when the decision was taken to appoint Chowdary.

“Thus, the integrity of the decision-making process has not impinged in this case in any manner whatsoever, neither the decision taken to appoint Chowdary as CVC can be said to be suffering from any illegality. The decision cannot be said to be influenced by extraneous considerations and the choice made of Chowdary cannot be said to be such which is amenable for interference by the court in judicial review,” it added. (IANS)

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