Vijai Sharma and K V Chowdary appointed as CIC and CVC respectively
The approval of the appointment of Information Commissioner Vijai Sharma as the Chief Information Commissioner at the Central Information Commission (CIC) and former CBDT chief K V Chowdary as the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) was done by the President Pranab Mukherjee yesterday. A Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson broke the news. Their names were recommended by the three member committee lead by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and comprising of leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Sharma is the senior most information commissioner and had worked as the Environment Secretary before his appointment as the Information Commissioner in 2012. His term shall last till December 1, 2015 when he attains the age of 65 years. There are vacancies of four Information Commissioners in the CIC for which no announcement was made. The appointment of the Chief at CIC would give a fillip to the pendency of cases which has reached an alarming level of 40,051 cases (which includes 32,531 appeals and 7,520 complaints).
It is for the first time since the formation of the CVC in 1964 that an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer has not been appointed as the chief of the anti-corruption watchdog. Chowdary, a former Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer of 1978 batch, retired as Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in October 2014 and is currently an Adviser in Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) which is looking into the black money issue. Senior lawyers Ram Jethmalani and Prashnat Bhushan had criticised the government questioning his integrity. Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Bank, T M Bhasin, has been appointed as the Vigilance Commissioner.
The appointment of both Chowdary and Bhasin has been for a term of four years from the date on which they enter upon their office or till they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. So far, the former Director General of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) Rajiv, who is a 1975 batch IPS officer, was officiating as the acting Central Vigilance Commissioner.