New Delhi, May 13: The Supreme Court today lifted its embargo and allowed the Centre to go ahead with the appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) and a Vigilance Commissioner from the list of candidates shortlisted by it.
The two posts have been lying vacant for past few months and the apex court had on December 17, 2014 asked the Centre to take its prior "leave" before going ahead with the appointment for which 10 candidates each have been shortlisted after scrutinising 130 applications received in response to the advertisement issued in this regard.
"Keeping in view the urgency for appointment of the CVC and vigilance commissioner, the posts which have been vacant since last few months, we allow to make the appointments," a bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justices Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy said.
The bench directed that after making the appointments, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi will place before it the entire records and materials inlcuding the list of candidates who applied for the two posts. Further, the bench clarified that it will be open for all the parties to come up with their contentions.
At the outset, Rohatgi submitted that the government has started the procedure for appointment of CVC and a Vigilance Commissioner and a committee of three Secretaries -- Cabinet Secretary, Finance Secretary and Secretary of Department of Personnel and Training -- has shortlisted candidates keeping in mind total transaparency needed for the process.
"The purpose of transaparency has been achieved and now the appointment process is at the final stage," he submitted, adding that the idea is to have a person of highest integrity. The Attorney General said the stage has come when the PIL filed on the issue required to be closed and anyone having any grievance can move the apex court later.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO which had filed the PIL, raised some objections to the appointment of the Committee comprising three secretaries, saying the procedure adopted was contrary to the law that envisaged a panel comprising the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition and Home Minister for the purpose.