Quashing of CVC’s appointment is laudable

Parmanand Pandey

The Supreme Court of India by striking down the appointment of the Central Vigilance Commissioner has done a commendable job in the public interest. It has retrieved the constitutional dignity to a large extent, which has been going down very rapidly in the recent years.

Some people say that Mr. Thomas should have resigned long back from the post of CVC to avoid mortification to the government, particularly the Prime Minster and the Home Minister, who were the members of the appointment committee. But then that would not have set the controversy at rest. Therefore, I think that Mr. Thomas has done, although unwittingly, well by not resigning from the post and thereby allowing the Supreme Court to settle the law.

The Supreme Court has also done a good job by declaring, among other points, that only (a) bureaucrats should not be considered for the post of CVC; other qualified and persons of eminence should also be taken in account, (b) that the three member committee should not exercise only ‘veto power’, member disagreeing with the proposal should provide the reasons for the same. So if Mr. Thomas had rendered his resignation in the face of public outcry; the country would have been deprived of the transparent measures to be adopted for future CVCs. Thus, it is, in fact, a sort of a blessing in disguise.

My personal opinion is that the government has adopted all sorts of foolish, cheap and illogical tactics to defend the appointment of CVC. It got its Attorney General to say that complete files about Mr. Thomas were not put up before the committee consisting of the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the Leader of Opposition, which was debunked by the Home Minister Shri Chidambaram, the next day. Thus high constitutional authority like the Attorney General had to eat humble pie. Even otherwise also the palm oil case, in which Mr. Thomas was involved, was so controversial that every conscientious person was in the know of it.

Needless to say, that in our country the constitution is Supreme. All organs, be it judiciary, legislature or executive derive their powers from the constitution. Judiciary is supposed to keep check on other organs, if they go adrift or do something unconstitutional. If the judiciary fails to perform its assigned duties properly, it would send a body blow to the constitutionalism.

Therefore, this verdict needs to be welcomed.