CHENNAI: The DMK has moved the Madras High Court to quash an order dated August 2 last of the State Chief Secretary appointing VK Jeyakodi, IAS, as the commissioner, Tamil Nadu Vigilance Commission.The first Bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar, before which the PIL from RS Bharathi, party organising secretary and Rajya Sabha member, came up on Monday, directed the Advocate-General to get instructions by August 18.The PIL also prayed for a directive to the chief secretary to treat the office of the Vigilance Commissioner as an ‘integrity institution’ by extending the 2011 directive of the Supreme Court and the framework of the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003 and further direct her to appoint a vigilance commissioner after a fair, reasonable and transparent consultative process.
The petitioner’s counsel P Wilson contended that the appointment was arbitrary, illegal and unreasonable for the reason that Jeyakodi was junior in rank to several officers including the chief secretary. He would not be able to investigate any accusation of high level corruption against either the chief secretary or other secretaries senior to him.
It seems that the political bosses were attempting to influence the functioning of the vigilance commission so that its investigations could be controlled. If the power to change the head of the State Vigilance Commission was left to the whims of the Government and he could be changed at any time, that too without assigning any reason, then it could not be reasonably expected that the Vigilance Commissioner would act independently and without fear or favour.
Leader of Opposition and DMK working president M K Stalin had made a representation on May 10 to the Governor requesting the appointment of an independent officer of the rank of the chief secretary/DGP. Only if an officer of the said rank was appointed exclusively as the commissioner of State Vigilance Commission with a fixed tenure, will the institutional integrity be restored. The State Vigilance Commissioner must not be given any other assignment after the tenure to ensure that he sought no quid pro quo with in the form of appointment to powerful and remunerative positions, Wilson further contended.