New Delhi: Criticising the appointment of former Comptroller and Editor General (CAG) Vinod Rai as the chairman of the newly-constituted Banks Board Bureau (BBB), Congress in charge of communications Randeep S. Surjewala on Sunday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government of "quid pro quo", while questioning the legality of such an appointment under Article 148 (4) of the Constitution.
According to Article 148 (4) of the Constitution, the CAG shall not be eligible for further office either under the Government of India or under the Government of any state after he has ceased to hold his office.
Terming the appointment of Rai a "quid pro quo" by the BJP Government, Surjewala said Prime Minister Narendra Modi conferred on him Padma Bhushan, and subsequently appointed him the chairman of the Banks Board Bureau.
Dubbing the appointment of Rai as a "U-Turn" by the NDA regime, he said the then leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha (when UPA was in power) Arun Jaitley had contended that the appointment of a former CAG to probe the Games corruption went against the spirit of the Constitution.
He quoted Jaitley as saying, "I have long held the belief that all such posts that require a higher degree of autonomy and independence should be insulated from the prospect of future employment with the government. The lure of post-retirement jobs blunts the edge of probity that should be the prerequisite for offices such as the CAG, the Central Vigilance Commissioner, the Central Election Commissioner and even the higher Judiciary. When the government is in a position to offer jobs and other perks, it no longer remains a neutral respondent."
Surjewala said the appointment of Rai as the Chairman of the newly-constituted committee was a summersault by the NDA.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday approved the proposal of the department of financial services for the constitution of the Banks Board Bureau, with former CAG Vinod Rai as its Chairman with an aim to improve governance in public sector banks (PSBs).
The bureau will start functioning from April 1.
The bureau will recommend for the selection of heads of public sector banks and financial institutions, besides it will also help banks in developing strategies and capital raising plans.
The bureau will have three ex-officio members - Secretary, Department Financial Services, Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India - and three expert members - Shri Anil K. Khandelwal, Former CMD of Bank of Baroda, H.N. Sinor, Former Joint MD, ICICI Bank, and Rupa Kudwa, Former MD & CEO, CRISIL - in addition to Chairman Vinod Rai, Former CAG of India.
All the members and chairman will be part time.