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SC notice over PIL on vigilance officials

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the central government on a petition by NGO Common Cause seeking the quashing of the appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) K.V. Chaudhary and Vigilance Commissioner (VC) T.M. Bhasin as their appointment was said to have breached the principle of “institutional integrity”. Supreme_Court_of_India_-_Central_Wing

The notice has also been issued to Chaudhary and Bhasin.

The apex court bench of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu, Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Amitava Roy sought responses from the central government as well as Chaudhary and Bhasin in two weeks. It gave a week’s time to Common Cause to file a rejoinder if any.

The NGO’s counsel urged the court to direct the government to make available the minutes of the meeting wherein Chaudhary and Bhasin were appointed the CVC and VC respectively.

He also sought the material that was placed before the Selection Committee relating to Chaudhary and Bhasin. The court asked Bhushan to make an appropriate application for seeking these records.

The PIL by the Common Cause and some others had sought to declare the appointment of Chaudhary and Bhasin as “illegal and void” as it violated the principles of “impeccable integrity” and “institutional integrity” spelt out by the apex court in earlier judgments.

Even before the appointment of Chaudhary as CVC, the PIL says several representations were made to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others including Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Congress leader Malikarjun Kharge giving specific reasons why he was “not eligible and suitable for heading this important institution”. 

(IANS)

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Another Deadline Missed, No Draft Scheme on the Cauvery Dispute Till Now

On the expiry of the six-week deadline, the Centre sought extension of time till the completion of the electoral process in Karnata for submission of the Scheme.

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The court said that even if the Centre has not framed the scheme, Karnataka, under the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal award, was obliged to make monthly releases to Tamil Nadu.
Supreme Court of India. Wikimedia commons

The Centre yet again failed to submit a draft Scheme on the Cauvery river water dispute before the Supreme Court on the ground that the Prime Minister and other ministers were campaigning in Karnataka, which Tamil Nadu flayed as “brazen partisanship”.

Seeking 10 more days to finalize the scheme, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal told Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud: “A draft scheme has been placed before the Cabinet. Because of Karnataka elections, the Prime Minister and all other Ministers are in Karnataka. Before that the Prime Minister was abroad (in China).”

It also sought response from the Centre on the steps taken by it since the pronouncing of the judgement for putting in place a scheme for implementing its order on the sharing of Cauvery water among Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.
Parliament of India, wikimedia commons

The Centre’s submission was countered strongly by senior counsel Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu, who said: “Sorry to say, the Central government is politicizing the issue. They are worried about their electoral fate in Karnataka. Election in Karnataka is on May 12 and somehow they don’t want to do it till then. We have enough of it. It is brazen partisanship of the Union of India. It is the end of co-operative federalism.”

The apex court in its February 16 judgement had directed the Centre to frame a Scheme within six months in accordance with the recommendation by the Cauvery River Water Tribunal for constitution of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and Cauvery Regulatory Authority (CRA), which Karnataka opposes strongly.

On the expiry of the six-week deadline, the Centre sought extension of time till the completion of the electoral process in Karnata for submission of the Scheme. Tamil Nadu filed a contempt petition against the Centre for failure to act within the deadline.

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During Thursday’s hearing, the court directed the Karnataka government to respond on how much of the four TMC of water it can release by month end. It also sought response from the Centre on the steps taken by it since the pronouncing of the judgement for putting in place a scheme for implementing its order on the sharing of Cauvery water among Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.

In the course of the hearing, the court asked Karnataka to release 4 TMC of water by Monday.

The court said that even if the Centre has not framed the scheme, Karnataka, under the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal award, was obliged to make monthly releases to Tamil Nadu.

The court directed the next hearing of the matter on Tuesday. (IANS)

 

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