Pillai opts out of CVC race

June 27th, 2011 - 10:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, June 27 (IANS) Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai, who demits office Thursday, says he has opted out of the race for the new Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC).

Pillai has informed the government that he was not interested in the job.

“I have informed them that I am not interested. I want to relax for sometime,” Pillai told IANS Monday.

With this, the number of probables considered to head the anti-graft body has further narrowed as the government has already begun the process for finalising the appointment of the CVC — a post lying vacant for the last three months after the Supreme Court quashed the appointment of the tainted P.J. Thomas.

Informed sources said the Department of Personnel and Training has shortlisted 28 names from an initial list of around 50 probables.

The list will be pruned to five and placed before a high-level selection committee comprising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Lok Sabha Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj.

Those considered for the top post include Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar, former secretary, legal department, V.K. Bhasin, former fertilizers secretary Bijoy Chatterjee, former urban development secretary M. Ramachandran and former higher education secretary R.K. Agarwal, according to sources.

Pradeep Kumar, a 1972-batch IAS officer who retires July 31, is emerging as the top runner for the post.

According to the sources, the committee is likely to meet in the next couple of days to choose the new anti-corruption watchdog head which has been lying vacant after Thomas was removed in March following the orders of the Supreme Court.

The apex court had termed as “illegal” the Sep 3, 2010 recommendation for appointing Thomas as CVC since the high-powered committee did not consider the pending charge sheet against Thomas in an import scam.

The court said the committee’s recommendation on appointment of Thomas “does not exist in law”.

It gave out fresh guidelines for CVC’s appointment, which, the sources said, have been followed in arriving at the list of probables.

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