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Why government took its time to pick CVC


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As reported by Aman Sharma in indiatoday.intoday.in on 16 Jan 2012:

Why government took its time to pick CVC : North News - India Today


Why government took its time to pick CVC


Current CVC Pradeep Kumar (right) was appointed after much deliberation. Former CVC P.J. Thomas.


The ignominious exit of P. J. Thomas from the post of Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) in 2011 appeared to have sent the Union government into a 'once bitten twice shy' mode as regards the selection of his successor.


The reply to an RTI application moved by Mail Today tells the entire story behind the inordinate delay. It may be recalled that Thomas's appointment was struck down by the Supreme Court on March 3 last year.


The documents provided under the RTI act revealed that on April 1, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had directed the department of personnel and training (DoPT) secretary to write to all the ministries and departments seeking nominations for the CVC's post. Singh also wanted the cabinet secretary to recommend names.


Then DoPT secretary Alka Sirohi wrote to all the ministries as well as then cabinet secretary K. M. Chandrasekhar on April 5, and asked them to send their proposals latest by April 25.


The ministries and departments met the deadline and duly sent the names of 21 IAS officers.


But DoPT chose to decide that these officers would only be considered if their names also figured in the list sent by Chandrasekhar.


When no list was received from Chandrasekhar by April 25, the government intriguingly decided to lend him an elaborate hand.


A secretary-level list of IAS officers (serving and retired) was handed over to Chandrasekhar along with the suggested selection criteria.


On May 19, a consolidated list of 574 IAS officers was submitted to the cabinet secretary after packing in as much information as possible about the career and service record of the contenders.


Chandrasekhar's list of 20 IAS officers reached the Union minister of state for personnel on June 2," a document given under the RTI stated. Among the 20 names was that of Sirohi, opted out subsequently. But after two months of deliberation, she still had to prune Chandrasekhar's list because five officers nominated by him had already taken up other assignments and one had been served a departmental warning in 2003.


On June 17, Sirohi submitted a list of 13 IAS officers nominated by the cabinet secretary and four non-IAS officers to personnel minister V. Narayanasamy. The minister finally zeroed in on five names on June 18 after studying reports from the IB, CBI and the Vigilance Commission.


Four of these names were from Chandrasekhar's list, including then defence secretary Pradeep Kumar and retired secretaries R. P. Agrawal (higher education), Naresh Dayal (health) and Bijoy Chatterji (petroleum).


On July 2, Pradeep Kumar was selected as the CVC. Incidentally, DoPT - the nodal ministry for the RTI - took over six months to reply to this plea.

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