Govt to decide on acting CVC by next week

New Delhi: Government is considering appointing an acting Central Vigilance Commissioner following the quashing of the appointment of P J Thomas by the Supreme Court.

Sources said one of the two Vigilance Commissioners, former Karnataka Police Chief R Srikumar and Chairman of Corporation Bank J M Garg, will be made the CVC till a new chief of the anti-corruption watchdog is selected by a high-powered panel.

They said a notification in this regard may be issued by next week.

According to Section 10 (1) of the CVC Act 2003, "The President may, by notification, authorise one of the Vigilance Commissioners to act as the Central Vigilance Commissioner until the appointment of a new Central Vigilance Commissioner to fill such vacancy."

Both Srikumar and Garg were appointed Vigilance Commissioners on September 8 last year by a selection committee chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and comprising Home Minister P Chidambaram and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj as members.

Srikumar, a retired Karnataka cadre IPS officer of 1973 batch, has served in Central Bureau of Investigation and assisted a special investigation team to probe Rajiv Gandhi`s assassination besides handling various crucial posts.

He was also awarded the Indian Police Medal for meritorious service and President`s Police Medal for distinguished services.

Garg has had a distinctive national and international stint in banking sector and his last assignment as Chairman and Managing Director of Corporation Bank ended on July 31, 2010.

"The name of acting CVC will be announced by next week through a notification. The formalities have already begun," an official privy to the development said wishing anonymity.

Thomas, a 1973 batch IAS officer of Kerala cadre, was removed by the Supreme Court from the post of CVC yesterday for his involvement in a corruption case relating to Palmolein imports in 1991 that allegedly caused a loss of over Rs two crore to Kerala government.

Thomas was the Food Secretary in the state government at the time of the import.

It will take atleast two-three months to select a new Central Vigilance Commissioner by the three-member panel, the sources said, adding that the acting CVC will be in-charge of the probity watchdog till that time.

Besides advising central government departments in planning, executing, reviewing and reforming vigilance works, the CVC is probing many high-profile cases like Commonwealth Games related projects for financial irregularities.