Thursday, March 3, 2011

CVC is India’s Integrity Commission, says SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday put the Central Vigilance Commission on a higher pedestal by terming it the ‘Integrity Commission of India’, akin to similar bodies in developed countries like US, UK, Canada and Australia.
Striking down P J Thomas’s appointment as CVC because of corruption charges against him, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia said the sole purpose of setting up CVC was to improve vigilance administration over anti-corruption measures.
The court said the CVC’s job to supervise CBI’s probe into corruption cases was one of the many reasons why the commission was made independent, autonomous and insulated from external pressure.
“The constitution of CVC as a statutory body shows it is an institution. The key word is institution. We are emphasizing the key word for the simple reason that in the present case, the recommending authority has gone by personal integrity of the officers empanelled and not by institutional integrity,” the bench said. “In its functions, the CVC is similar to EC, CAG, parliamentary committees etc. Thus, while making recommendations, the service conditions of the candidate being a public servant or civil servant in the past is not the sole criteria,” it said.

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