New Delhi: Issuing a series of guidelines for the future appointment to the post of Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), the Supreme Court on Thursday said that complete record of the shortlisted candidate be placed before the High-Power Committee (HPC) headed by the Prime Minister.

A bench of Chief Justice S H Kapadia, while striking down the appointment of P J Thomas as the CVC, slammed the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh headed HPC for recommending his name on the basis of merit bio-data placed before it without going through other relevant material on him which included a pending criminal case against him.

The bench said the empanelment must be done by an officer of the rank of Secretary and all the material must be placed before the committee.

"Nothing relevant or material should be withheld from the selection Committee," the bench said, adding that empanelling authority shall enclose complete information, material and data of the concerned person, whether favourable or adverse, to the Committee.

"It will not only be useful but will also serve larger public interest and enhance public confidence if the contemporaneous service record and acts of outstanding performance of the officer under consideration, even with adverse remarks are specifically brought to the notice of the selection Committee," the bench said.

Expressing concern over the way in which Thomas' name was cleared, the bench said, "In the present case the entire emphasis has been placed by the CVC, the DoPT and the HPC   only on the bio-data of the empanelled candidates.

"Moreover, we are surprised to find that between 2000 and 2004 the notings of DoPT dated 26th June, 2000, 18th January, 2001, 20th June, 2003, 24th February, 2004, 18th October, 2004 and 2nd November, 2004 have all observed that penalty proceedings may be initiated against Thomas," the bench said.

"Whether the state should initiate such proceedings or the Centre should initiate such proceedings was not relevant. What is relevant is that such notings were not considered in juxtaposition with the clearance of CVC granted on October 6, 2008," the court said.


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