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Monday, November 22, 2010

And they want me to be optimistic about my country

How can a tainted man be CVC, says SC
(read it here, else the text is reproduced below my 'commentary' / ranting)

Heights of shamelessness eh - the government appointing a tainted man as the CVC (Chief Vigilance Commissioner). This the guy who the CBI will report to. The guy whose scathing comments in the past have brought governments down on their knees. Now this institution is also forever compromised. Wonder if they will create a protocol as to how his own corruption case should be treated by the CBI if it gets that far!

Ah if only one lets the imagination run wild. The muzzling of the CBI would be complete. Perhaps they could even dismantle it altogether. Etc etc.

The optimists will point out that the courts are doing something about it. It gives me little comfort. What I am scared about is the fact that corruption is now becoming Mainstream *. Acceptable. Expected pretty much from everyone. Even Respectable? Earlier a minister caught in a scam would resign. Now there is no shame, just defiance. Exhibit A Raja. (now thats a good pun, dont you deny me!)

* Rumor has it that Indiabulls is actually a front company for the Nehru-Gandhi family's ill-gotten assets. That is still believable - those folk have been around for generations - but how about this? Some chitku** politico called Sudhanshu Mittal has apparently poured some Rs.8000 Crores (partly by looting the CWG) into his front company IREO. Read more here (its been all over the news lately but then you probably missed it between all the other big scams).

** Well, not anymore I guess...Respect!

How can a tainted man be CVC, says SC

The government placed the file relating to the appointment of P J Thomas as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner in the Supreme Court, which questioned as to how he would function in the post in view of a pending criminal case against him.

"Without looking into the file, we are concerned that if a person is an accused in a criminal case how will he function as CVC," a bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia [ Images ] observed after Attorney General G E Vahanvati placed the file in a sealed cover.

The bench said it will go through the file and posted the matter after two weeks. "We will sit together and go through the file," the bench also comprising Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar said. The name of Thomas figures in the chargesheet filed in a palmoleine export case.

After the file was placed before it, the apex court bench said it would like to know whether the eligibility criteria of impeccable integrity has been met. The bench told Attorney General G E Vahanvati that the issue as to how Thomas will function as CVC when his name is there in a chargesheet will crop up at every stage. The AG sought to clarify that there was no involvement of Thomas in palmoleine export case and the sanction to prosecute him had not been processed.

The bench, however, said, "Let us proceed on assumption that at every stage there will be allegations that you should not process a file as CVC as you are accused in a criminal case. How will you function as CVC? "In every case the CBI has to report to him," the bench pointed out. "Under the service jurisprudence, a person cannot even be considered for promotions when a chargesheet is pending against him," said the bench.

"At this stage as a chargesheet is pending against him since 2002, he is not even considered to be promoted. We are only suggesting whether he will be able to function as CVC. He himself will be an embarrassment," it said. "Since this matter is very important, we will structure our order on this basis," it said.

The bench clarified that it was not on the merits of the case but it only wanted to know if the whole procedure including the criteria of impeccable integrity was followed in the appointment of Thomas as CVC. Maintaining that whole process was followed, the Attorney General told the court that if such allegations are taken into consideration, every judicial appointment may come under scrutiny.

The bench said the palmoleine case was handled by the state wing of the CVC and Thomas is heading the central organisation. The AG said J M Lyngdoh, who filed the petition, had himself prepared Thomas' ACR stating that his integrity was beyond doubt and yet he filed the petition.

Refuting allegations in a petition filed by civil societies - Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) and Common Cause - questioning Thomas' appointment as CVC, Vahanvati had said the statements made in the petition were not correct.

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