A division bench comprising chief justice SB Sinha and justice AK Sikri further directed that departmental proceedings of the industry ministry be completed within three months.
The court was of the view that the CVC action in the case appeared to be tainted. Counsel Maninder Singh appeared on behalf of the government and Shree Prakash Sinha on behalf of Mr Darbari.
In September 1996, Mr Darbari was recommended for the post of the chairman and managing director of AAI. However, in May 1997, the CVC denied vigilance clearance to him.
Mr Darbaris counsel pointed out that the former Cement Corporation of India chairman was recommended for the post of CMD of Rashtriya Chemical Fertilisers in 1995 for which the CVC gave its clearance. He also submitted that within a week of Mr Darbaris recommendation to the post of CMD of AAI, two sets of anonymous and pseudonymous complaints were received by the Prime Ministers Office against Mr Darbari pertaining to charges against him between 1990-1993.
Most of these cases were already closed in consultation with the CVC. On April 15, 1997, a two-member committee appointed on the recommendation of the CVC found nothing against Mr Darbari. On November 7, 1997, Mr Darbari filed a writ petition in the Delhi HC for not being granted vigilance clearance.