The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State unit on Saturday demanded that Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) P.J. Thomas should resign because a vigilance case against him was on trial before the vigilance court here.

Spokesman of the party George Kurian told the media that Mr. Thomas was the eighth accused in the palmolein case which came up before the special court trying vigilance cases. The court had adjourned the case to October 21 on an application from the accused.

The spokesman demanded that the Central government should clarify how the commissioner, who was himself an accused in a vigilance case, could carry on with the task of checking corruption in the country. The charge against him was that he was an accomplice in causing a loss of Rs.2.8 crore to the exchequer in the import of 15,000 metric tonnes of palmolein from Malaysia during 1991-92 when he was the Secretary (Civil Supplies) of Kerala government.

When the FIR against the accused was challenged before the Supreme Court, the apex court had observed that the attempt was to hide corruption under the carpet using technicalities.

Mr. Kurian said Defence Minister A.K. Antony who had supported Mr. Thomas' appointment as commissioner was aware of the details of the case. Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, who had approached the courts for effective prosecution of the case, and Law Minister M. Vijayakumar were silent about Mr. Thomas.

Keywords: corruption case

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