Skip to main content

Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan warned Modi on May 20: Chowdury is "dubious frontrunner" for CVC post

Chowdary
By Our Representative
Creating ripple in India’s top corridors of power, senior Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, founder of the newly-formed Swaraj Samvad, has released a letter he wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi forewarning the appointment of former chairperson, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) VK Chowdary as the new Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC). Written on May 20, Bhushan in his letter calls Chowdary “dubious front-runner” for the top CVC post.
A 1978 batch Indian Revenue Service officer, Chowdary retired as CBDT chief in October last year, has been working as adviser to Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) which is probing black money cases. The panel headed by the Prime Minister, and included Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, agreed on his name on June 1. CVC's main job is to inquiry into charges against senior bureaucrats.
Basing his information on “reliable sources” about the government “decision” to appoint Chowdary as India’s new CVC, Bhushan reminds Modi that the Central Vigilance Commission, in the absence of the Lokpal, is considered “the apex integrity and watchdog institution of the country”. He tells him, “Apart from overseeing the vigilance administration, it has also been tasked with superintendence over the CBI in corruption cases and for protection of the whistleblowers.”
Suggesting that Chowdary is incapable to carry on with the task, given his past record, Bhushan says, Chowdary’s name “figures four times in the list of persons who visited former CBI Director Ranjit Sinha at his (Sinha’s) official residence”, and that the Supreme Court on May 14, 2015 had said that Sinha’s “meetings and the impact of those meetings on cases being dealt by the CBI needs to be investigated.”
Bhushan tweets to release letter to Modi

Giving another instance of “dubious” nature of Chowdary, Bhushan says, “During the tenure of former CBI Director Ranjit Sinha, Chowdary’s role was investigated by the CBI in stock guru scam.” Then, there was the instance when “Chowdary, who was chairman and member (investigation) of income tax, was apparently investigating hawala dealer Moin Qureshi who repeatedly visited Sinha.”
Bhushan said, Chowdary, was Director General of Income Tax (DGIT), Delhi when the Radia tapes were intercepted, yet he “did not take any action on evidence available with him.” Also, “as in charge of 2G scam investigation in income tax, “Chowdary failed to make any headway in the case, unlike the other agencies like the CBI or the ED”, he adds.
Further, Bhushan says, “Chowdary was also in charge of investigating HSBC account holders for almost three years. Until Supreme Court appointed the SIT, there was almost no progress in the income tax investigation under Chowdary. At the time SIT was formed, income tax department had not filed even a single prosecution case against HSBC account holders.”
Pointing out that there were “serious adverse remarks have been made in Chowdary’s performance appraisal reports by three senior officers of CBDT”, Bhushan tells Modi how Chowdary “wrongfully reduced the undeclared wealth of Messrs Flora and Fauna, a company of Ponty Chadha by over Rs 200 crores.”
“In light of the above, I request you to ensure that your high offices are not used for the appointment of dubious officers as the CVC”, Bhushan says in his letter to Modi, adding, “It is only fortuitously that I have come to know about Chowdary’s likely appointment as CVC, and therefore I am placing this information before you.”
Bhushan also underlines in his letter to Modi that the Supreme Court on May 13, 2015 had lifted the stay on the appointment of CVC and Vigilance Commissioners (VCs) “after the Attorney General appearing for your government assured the Court that your government would appoint the best person after following a credible transparent selection process.”

Comments

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.