The September 3 meeting of the selection committee that chose P.J. Thomas as Central Vigilance Commissioner did not have any document on record about the corruption case pending against him in Kerala.
Copies of the proceedings of the meeting circulated to media by RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agarwal on Friday showed that Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj had recorded her dissent.
“I disagree,” she had written in her hand on the decision to appoint Mr. Thomas which was also signed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram, the other members of the selection committee.
There was also nothing in the documents to show that the issue of corruption case against Mr. Thomas was discussed in the meeting.
The documents also contained the bio-data of Mr. Thomas and two other candidates — Bijoy Chatterjee and S. Krishnan — who were also senior bureaucrats but Mr. Thomas’ bio-data does not contain reference to the corruption case filed against him in the Palmolein import case.
On Thursday, Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati had told the Supreme Court that material pertaining to sanction for prosecution of Thomas in a corruption case was not placed before the selection committee. Mr. Thomas’ bio-data also did not reflect this fact, he had said.
Mr. Agarwal said the government should not have appointed him to the post of CVC in the face of dissent from Ms. Swaraj. He said in an earlier case of appointment of Central Information Commissioner, the government dropped the appointment of a candidate when the then Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani had expressed reservations.