President’s secretary Sanjay Kothari on Saturday took over as the Central Vigilance Commissioner, ten months after the top post in the country’s anti-corruption watchdog CVC fell vacant.
Kothari was sworn in by President Ram Nath Kovind at a ceremony attended by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among others, at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
He later assumed the charge as the chief of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), officials
Kothari, aged 63, will have tenure till late June next year, when he completes 65 years of age.
“At a ceremony held today at 1030 hrs at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Sanjay Kothari was sworn in as the Central Vigilance Commissioner. He made and subscribed the oath of his office before the president,” a communique issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
Kothari’s appointment to the top post of the probity watchdog now may further escalate a war of words between the ruling BJP and opposition Congress.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari had in February demanded initiation of a fresh process for appointing the Central Vigilance Commissioner by inviting applications again.
Kothari, a 1978-batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre, retired in June 2016 from the post of secretary, the Department of Personnel and Training. He was, in November 2016, appointed the chief of the government’s head-hunter — the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB).
Kothari was in July 2017 named as the secretary to the president.
The post of the Central Vigilance Commissioner was lying vacant since June last year after K V Chowdary completed his tenure.
The Central Vigilance Commissioner is appointed by the president on the recommendation of the selection committee consisting of the prime minister as its chairperson, and the home minister and the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha as its members.
The tenure of CVC chief is of four years or till the incumbent attains the age of 65 years.
The CVC can have a Central Vigilance Commissioner and two Vigilance Commissioners. At present, Sharad Kumar is working as the Vigilance Commissioner.