Sanjay Kothari, Secretary to the President of India, is tipped to be the next Chief Vigilance Commissioner. Former Information and Broadcasting Secretary Bimal Julka will be the Chief Information Commissioner.
Former CMD of Andhra Bank Suresh Patel has been chosen as a Vigilance Commissioner while former member of Punjab Civil Services Commission Amita Pandove will be an Information Commissioner.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the selection committee on Tuesday. The government is yet to make a formal announcement.
The meeting, presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was attended by Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress Leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitender Singh. The decision, however, was arrived at by a majority opinion as the Opposition leader objected to the process and pointed to “certain legal infirmities”.
Mr. Chowdhury is reported to have objected to the fact that the government had neither shared the names of the short-listed candidates for the post of CIC before the meeting, as is the norm. The Opposition leader also objected to the fact that for the post of CVC, a member of the search committee was included as a short-listed candidate.
Mr. Modi is learnt to have directed the officials to ensure that norms were followed and the Opposition leader was provided with the short-listed names before such meetings.
“It is regrettable that the entire process of appointment to the high offices of the CVC and the CIC was deeply flawed and violative of the constitutional guarantees, and was undertaken in a non-transparent manner,” Mr. Chowdhury said. “These fundamental flaws have vitiated the entire exercise. Sad that the government is using the flawed procedure to appoint persons to these high offices. Such arbitrary decisions will defeat the very objective of holding the government and the Executive accountable to the people of India,” he said.
A few other posts in the CIC are lying vacant and, the Commission has been working with a reduced strength of six Information Commissioners as against the sanctioned strength of 11.