He cites Supreme Court verdict in Vineet Narain case

On the heels of the controversy over the appointment of the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), NDA working president L.K. Advani has said the government should take on board the Opposition in the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners.

In his latest blog entry titled ‘Let Opposition be involved in naming the Election Commission,' Mr. Advani cited the 1998 Supreme Court judgment in the Vineet Narain case and said the verdict paved the way for involvement of the Opposition in CVC selection.

Mr. Advani said: “It would be very appropriate and a step towards strengthening democracy if the Supreme Court's 1998 decision followed in the RTI Act is incorporated in case of the Election Commission also.

“The phrasing of Article 324 (2) shows that this would not need any Constitution amendment. It would be achieved by an ordinary enactment. The earlier it is done the better.”

The former Deputy Prime Minister said that for several months now corruption was one word that had been reverberating in every nook and corner of the country.

Mr. Advani said that the Opposition really succeeded on a national level only in 1989 on the Bofors issue. The entire Opposition resigned on the issue.

“In this case, the banner of revolt against corruption was raised not only by Opposition leaders, but [also] from within the Congress party by Shri Vishwanath Pratap Singh,” Mr. Advani wrote. The Congress should consider itself lucky that today there was no V.P. Singh in its ranks.

“It is, however, the nation's good fortune that there is today a Supreme Court extremely conscientious about its high constitutional duties. In fact, the first major assault on this issue of corruption also was made by the Supreme Court way back in 1998 when, in the Vineet Narain case, Justices J.S. Verma, CJI, S.P. Bharucha and S.C. Sen delivered a historic judgment,” the BJP leader said.

Mr. Advani said that as per his information, after sensing the Supreme Court's displeasure over the nomination of P.J. Thomas as the CVC, an attempt was made by some in the government to make him quit on his own. He, however, refused to quit on the advice of a senior Minister.

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