Former Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar was on Thursday sworn-in as the new Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) replacing P J Thomas whose appointment was struck down by the Supreme Court in March.President Pratibha Patil administered the oath of office to 62-year-old Kumar, a 1972 batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre, at a brief function in Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth, Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi, Minister of State for Department of Personnel and Training V Narayansamy and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj were among those present at the swearing-in ceremony lasted for about 10 minutes.Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court has refused to grant urgent hearing on the plea of former Central Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas that his appeal, pending with the President against his sacking, be decided first before his successor Pradeep Kumar assumes charge.
“It is quite difficult to hear your petition at the eleventh hour,” a division bench of justices Vikramjit Sen and Sindharth Mridul said referring to the oath taking ceremony of the new CVC scheduled at 11 am on Thursday.
The Supreme Court had on March 3 quashed the appointment of Thomas citing a pending charge sheet in a corruption case against him in Kerala. Since then, the post has been lying vacant.
Kumar was chosen for the CVC’s post unanimously by a panel comprising the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister P Chidambaram and Swaraj about a fortnight ago.
He will have tenure of a little over three years.The Court, however, agreed to hear the petition of Thomas in due course and said that it could be listed for hearing on Friday.