CVC selection process corrupted as a member of selection committee was also applicant, alleges Congress leader

Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, alleged that Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar was a member of the search committee and turned out to be an applicant for the CVC’s post

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (File Photo)
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (File Photo)
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NH Web Desk

The selection process for appointing the next Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) waded into controversy after the Opposition pointed out that a member of the search committee for the CVC post was also an applicant and was even shortlisted for it.

Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, alleged that Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar was a member of the search committee and turned out to be an applicant for the CVC. Later, Kumar was even shortlisted for the post of CVC by the search committee which also included Cabinet Secretary Rajeev Gauba and DoPT Secretary C Chandramouli.

The Centre on Tuesday gave a green flag to the Secretary to President of India Sanjay Kothari’s name for the CVC post, besides appointing Bimal Julka as the next CIC, even after the objections from the opposition leader Adhir Chowdhury, reported The Indian Express.

Kothari is a 1978-batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre and retired as DoPT secretary in June 2106. The CVC’s post was lying vacant since June 2019.

Talking to The Indian Express, Chowdhury said, “I raised the issues and flagged their attention to the procedural flaws…thereafter names (of Kumar) were expunged.. these could be considered as dissent,”

While demanding for the entire new selection process, Chowdhury wrote a note stating that “in absence of recommendations of the search committee, having been circulated to the undersigned or to the committee itself, how can the undersigned, as a member of the high powered committee discharge his function under Section 12 of the RTI act on the spur of the moment by looking at the recommendations of the search committee that would be placed before the high powered Committee?”.

In a meeting, attended by the PM and Home Minister Amit Shah, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury argued that the “papers provided by the PMO (for the appointment of the CVC) disclose glaring and fatal infirmities with the (search) committee itself.”

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury showed his concern over the ‘corrupted’ selection process, telling The Telegraph that, “The Prime Minister is under constitutional obligation to protect the integrity of governmental processes. What is being done is that the vigilance watchdog is being turned into a protective shield for the government. We saw the conduct of the CVC in Modi’s first term; the Prime Minister has demolished the institutional framework that is meant to fight corruption.”

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