A month after the removal of controversial P J Thomas as Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), the government on Wednesday set the ball rolling for appointing a new person as the head of the top anti-corruption watchdog by writing to all ministries, departments and PSUs to suggest names for it.
The action came after the Prime Minister's Office approved the guidelines prepared for appointing CVC following a Supreme Court directive.
"We have sent a letter to all Ministries, Departments and PSUs asking them to suggest names for the CVC," Alka Sirohi, secretary in the Department of Personnel and Training said.
The move was necessitated after the Supreme Court had last month quashed the appointment of Thomas as CVC since he was facing corruption case.
Sources said a new CVC is expected to take charge within a month after completion of all formalities and clearance by the high-powered committee comprising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, home minister P Chidambaram and leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.
Sources said the government has already received a few recommendations, including the names of Punjab governor Shivraj Patil and country's first IPS officer Kiran Bedi, for the post of CVC.
The Supreme Court had struck down the appointment of Thomas holding that the recommendation by the high-powered committee headed by the Prime Minister is "non est" (does not exist) in law.
The Court had said in future appointments to CVC's post should not be restricted to civil servants alone and that people of impeccable integrity from other fields should also be considered.
Thomas was the telecom secretary before he was made the CVC in September last year. Government appointed Thomas as CVC despite dissension by Swaraj who was one of the three members in the high-powered committee.
Sirohi said the new guidelines for appointing CVC have been framed as per the suggestion of the Supreme Court.
Sources said the guidelines would broadly highlight complete Annual Confidential Report, dossiers and CVs in case of government servant, as mandated by the apex court. Besides CBI, IB (Intelligence Bureau) clearance is believed to have been suggested for some categories of candidates.
In case of a private candidate, a "self declaration by the sponsored person" would be required, sources said.
The upper age limit of the candidate is understood to have been fixed at 61 years and with 33 years of experience in case of government officials.
It has been proposed that a detailed note of applications received and rejected and the short-listing criteria also be put up before the final selection committee comprising the Prime Minister, the home minister and the Leader of the Opposition.