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SC verdict on Thomas' removal as CVC today

CNN-IBN
Mar 03, 2011 at 09:21am IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will deliver its verdict on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking removal of PJ Thomas from the position of Central Vigilence Commissioner (CVC) on Thursday.

The PIL has put an allegation that Thomas is not a person of impeccable integrity.

However, Thomas has defended himself against the PIL filled against him challenging his appointment as the CVC despite he was chargesheeted in the palmoline export scam while serving as Kerala's secretary in the State Ministry of Food and Civil Supplies.

The two PILs - one filed by an NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation and other by the former CEC - had contended that Thomas was considered for the crucial post despite objection from the Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj who was part of a high-power committee for the appointment of CVC.

Defending his appointment as CVC, Thomas, in his affidavit to the apex court, has said that there was no sanction to prosecute him in the palmolein import case.

Thomas, in his affidavit, said that was the senior most bureaucrat to be empanelled for the post of CVC and his name was considered the post after the Central Vigilance Commission had given a clearance for it.

While defending himself, Thomas has also told the court that in Parliament, there were 28.6 per cent of the MPs, who were facing criminal charges and out of it 74 MPs are facing serious criminal charges.

Earlier, on January 27, the Union Government made an embarrassing claim in the Supreme Court that it was not aware of the full facts of the allegations against Thomas when his name was cleared for the post of CVC.

The admission came when a three judge bench of the court asked the Attorney General whether all files and papers related to the palmolein scam were placed before the committee for appointing CVC.

The committee to appoint him comprised of the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the third member - the leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj.

The Attorney General replied the files weren't circulated.

This meant that the decision to appoint PJ Thomas as CVC was taken without the committee being aware of full facts of the case.

It was a claim that was immediately rebutted by the BJP.

Sushma Swaraj accused the Attorney General of lying on CVC PJ Thomas' appointment.

"The Attorney General’s statement before the Supreme Court that the government was in the dark or the home minister and the prime minister did not know about this case against is absolutely false,” she said.

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