The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to chief vigilance commissioner P J Thomas, the country’s top watchdog against corruption, and the centre on the basis of a petition challenging his appointment.
The apex court also issued notice to the government on the petition challenging the appointment of Thomas as the Central Vigilance Commissioner on the ground that he is facing corruption charges.
The court listed the matter for final hearing on January 27.
“We have gone through the file, we will keep the matter for final hearing,” a bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia said seeking response from the government and Thomas on the petitions challenging his appointment as CVC.
Attorney General G E Vahanvati accepted the notice on behalf of the government but declined to accept it on behalf of Thomas.
“I cannot accept notice on behalf of Thomas,” the AG said when advocate Prashant Bhushan appearing for the NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation submitted that Vahanvati can accept the notice for all the respondents.
The bench also said that it wants to keep the matter for final hearing immediately.
The AG sought six weeks to file response to the notice.
Bhushan said that it was a serious matter about a crucial post and wanted the matter to be taken up earlier.
He submitted that he will serve the notice to Thomas on Tuesday itself. The court posted the matter for January 27 saying that all the pleadings in the matter has to be completed by the next date of hearing.
The bench also comprising justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar directed the apex court registry that the file relating to the appointment of CVC which it had called for be returned in the course of day to the government.
Thomas was appointed as CVC on September 7 this year. CPIL and some other imminent persons including former Chief Election Commissioner J M Lyngdoh have challenged his appointment as CVC.
The two PILs–one filed by an NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation and other by the former CEC–had contended that Thomas was considered for the crucial post despite objection from the Leader of the Opposition who was part of a high-power 3-member committee for the appointment of CVC.