A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) jointly filed by Admiral L Ramdas (Retd.), Former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi and Former Secretary to Government of India EAS Sarma challenging appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner Sharad Kumar, former Chief National Investigation Agency (NIA), did not find favour from a bench presided over by Justice Ranjan Gogoi of the Supreme Court.
Appearing for the petitioners, Advocate Prashant Bhushan contended that the appointment of Sharad Kumar is arbitrary since it is in violation of one of the conditions namely candidate should not be above the age of 62 years, prescribed in the advertisement issued for the appointment. However, Sharad Kumar was above age of 62 years when he applied for the post of Vigilance Commissioner. At this Court said Central Vigilance Act, 2003 did not put any such embargo and sought to know from Bhushan as to what would be binding effect of such a guidelines in the advertisement? Bhushan replied, that by prescribing maximum age of 62 years of age in the advertisement might have deprived many candidates from applying who otherwise were eligible, but Sharad Kumar was appointed despite not being eligible and therefore appointment was arbitrary.
The Court, however, did not incline to accept the challenge to the appointment at the instance of aforementioned petitioners. Court said aggrieved person was not before the Court, and PILs are not meant to espouse the cause of others. PIL is meant for those who could not afford to come to the Court, said Justice Gogoi.