Former CVC had filed PIL seeking to quash case against him

The Supreme Court on Friday posted for final hearing in July a special leave petition filed by P.J. Thomas, former Central Vigilance Commissioner, seeking to quash the Rs. 2.8 crore palmolein import case in which he had been cited as one of the accused. The case is pending before the Special Judge, Thrissur.

A three Judge Bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justices Vikaramaji Sen passed this order after hearing counsel for Mr. Thomas, who pleaded for urgency to post the matter for final hearing. The Bench agreed and posted the SLP for final haring in July.

Mr. Thomas submitted that he was innocent and was seriously engaged in discharge of his official duty. He said there was nothing on record to show that he had committed any offence and he was only executing a Cabinet decision as a dutiful civil servant. He said he was subjected to a lot of attacks from vested interests by making use of the media, resulting in a hostile atmosphere.

He said the special leave petition raised important questions of law, viz. whether the High Court was duty-bound to quash the proceedings pending against him in the light of the fact that on June 25, 2007, the Central Vigilance Commissioner also issued an office Memorandum stating that his case had been re-examined and it was observed that he was implementing a Cabinet decision and no loss had been caused to the State Government as alleged and no case is made out against the petitioner and based on this report he was empanelled to the Central government and held various responsible jobs. Also whether the High Court was duty-bound to quash the proceedings pending against him in the light of the fact the continuance of the trial for an alleged action, that too in discharge of his official duty, which happened more than 21 years ago, seriously violated his fundamental rights, particularly Article 21 of the Constitution, the right to speedy trial, the right to life, as the pendency of the said criminal proceedings resulting, in preventing him from taking any assignments in government service, and also resulted in serious prejudice to his personal life.

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