The post of Chief Vigilance Commissioner should not be restricted only to civil services, the Supreme Court on Thursday said that while asking the government to also consider people of "impeccable integrity" from other fields.
"In future, the zone of consideration should be in terms of Section 3(3) of the 2003 Act. It shall not be restricted to civil servants," a three-judge bench headed by chief justice S H Kapadia said while quashing the appointment of P J Thomas as CVC.
"All the civil servants and other persons empanelled shall be outstanding civil servants or persons of impeccable integrity," the bench, also comprising justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar, said.
Referring the provisions of the CVC Act, the bench pointed out that even those people who have held office or are holding office in a corporation or company established by government can be considered for the post.
Section 3(b) of the CVC Act says that the CVC and the vigilance commissioners can be appointed from amongst persons who have held office or are holding office in a corporation established by or under any central Act or a central government company and from among those who have experience in finance including insurance and banking, law, vigilance and investigations.
After going through the record for the appointment of Thomas as CVC, the bench found that only people from civil services were considered.
"No reason has been given as to why in the present case the zone of consideration stood restricted only to the civil services", the court observed while asking the government to expand the zone of consideration by also considering those people who are not civil servants.