The government has begun the process of selecting the next central vigilance commissioner (CVC), widening its search to include persons of impeccable integrity who are not government servants - as directed by the Supreme Court.
Eminent non-officials with expertise in finance, law, vigilance and investigation could be considered for the position of the government's top anti-corruption watchdog.
The DoPT sent out a communication to all ministries on Tuesday, asking them to forward names of suitable persons in the next three weeks.
The search was necessitated after the Supreme Court struck down PJ Thomas's appointment as CVC on March 3, following reports of his involvement in a case pertaining to the palmolein import scam in Kerala in 1991.
The centre also clarified that all candidates would have to be recommended by a government department, following which the DoPT would shortlist them for selection by a panel headed by the Prime Minister.
Earlier, the DoPT would draw up its own list and present it to the selection panel.
"In order to ensure that full details are available, no applications will be entertained by the Department of Personnel and Training directly from any applicant under any category," the communication from DoPT secretary Alka Sirohi said.
In the case of non-official candidates, their names will have to be recommended by the administrative ministry concerning his or her field of expertise, Sirohi's letter said.
Candidates should not be more than 62 years on date of taking over to enable a minimum tenure of three years.