The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the appointments of KV Chaudhary as the central vigilance commissioner and TM Bhasin as the vigilance commissioner. The court delivered its verdict after hearing pleas by non-governmental organisation Common Cause, and the Centre for Integrity, Governance and Training in Vigilance Administration, Live Law reported.
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, representing Common Cause, had claimed that there were serious charges against Chaudhary and Bhasin, which were ignored by the three-member appointments committee. Bhushan called the appointments “arbitrary, illegal and in violation of the principle of institutional integrity”.
The Centre appointed Chaudhary and Bhasin to their posts in June 2015.
Justices Arun Mishra and Mohan M Shantanagoudar had reserved their verdict in September, but in April observed that “various files have been submitted, bulky record has been filed without proper flagging and summary by the learned counsel for the parties”.
Prashant Bhushan claimed Chaudhary’s name was linked to the 2012 Stock Guru scam, in which about two lakh people were duped of Rs 1,100 crore after being promised investments. He said Chaudhary could also be linked to the controversy over visitors to former Central Bureau of Investigation chief Ranjit Sinha’s residence.
The advocate said the Central Vigilance Commission had indicted Bhasin in 2013 for forging and tampering with the appraisal report of the Indian Bank’s general manager in his capacity as the chairperson and managing director of the institution.
The Centre had defended the appointments, saying they were chosen unanimously by a committee comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and the leader of the Opposition.