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Updated: January 25, 2011 11:33 IST

Thomas justifies his appointment as CVC

J. Venkatesan
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Central Vigilance Commissioner P.J. Thomas has filed an affidavit in response to the allegations made against him. File photo
The Hindu Central Vigilance Commissioner P.J. Thomas has filed an affidavit in response to the allegations made against him. File photo

Says continuation of prosecution in palmolein case meant to target Karunakaran and not himself

Central Vigilance Commissioner P.J. Thomas has asserted in the Supreme Court that his appointment as the CVC was in conformity with the scheme of the CVC Act and the continuation of the prosecution in the palmolein import case was meant to target the late Kerala Chief Minister, K. Karunakaran, and not himself.

In his response to the petition filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation questioning his appointment, Mr. Thomas said “a grave injustice is being done to an officer who has maintained the highest standards of integrity and has unfortunately been dragged into a controversy between two political leaders [Karunakaran and present Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan], which has subjected him to severe attacks on his honesty and reputation.”

He has objected to the use of the words ‘dishonest', ‘dubious', and ‘suspect' against him when referring to his integrity when there had been no such finding or assertion by a single judicial or administrative authority.

He pointed out that when the then Kerala government sought sanction for his prosecution from the Central government, sanction was not given and so the prosecution could not proceed. Again when the State government wanted to proceed with the prosecution by withdrawing its earlier G.O. and sought sanction, the Centre asked for reasons from the State government. Since reasons were not forthcoming no sanction was given by the Centre. It must be noted that the Left Democratic Front appointed him as the Chief Secretary on September 18, 2007 which would show that the continuation of prosecution was meant to target Karunakaran and not himself.

Mr. Thomas said the Central Vigilance Commission had in June 2007 considered the facts and circumstances of the Palmolein case and found that no case was made out either against him or against another IAS officer Jiji Thomson in palmolein import. The CVC had advised that the case be dropped against them.

Thereafter his name was sent for empanelment for being appointed to the Central Services and the Central government cleared his appointment in October 2008 and he was appointed Secretary, Parliamentary Affairs in January 2009 and then as Secretary, Communications in October 2009.

On his role in the 2G spectrum issue, he said he was appointed Secretary, Communications several months after the allocation of the 2G spectrum and he only had a limited role in forwarding the request of the former Telecom Minister, A. Raja, to the Union Law Minister and the opinion of the Law Ministry was received only after he was sworn in as the CVC on September 7, 2010.

He said, “It is tragic that after a career of honest service for 37 long years, the deponent's appointment to his present post has invited the ignominy of being targeted in such merciless fashion. At least now, being in receipt of clearances, the deponent is in a position to seek quashing of the prosecution launched against him and be able to establish his innocence.”

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PJ Thomas seems to be targeted in this case. I hope the Judicial systems reviews the facts carefully and make the right decision without any political pressure. If he is found Innocent, the Judicial System should ensure that Truth prevails and an honest office is given justice.

from:  Sujay
Posted on: Jan 28, 2011 at 01:08 IST

Whether Mr. Thomas is guilty or not in the Palmolein case only the Courts can decide. Even if he is found not guilty in that case his appointment as CVC is contovertial considering the fact that he served as Secretary under A.Raja who is alleged to be involved in the 2G Spectrum case. On moral grounds, he should have resigned from the post of CVC in view of the controversy that his appointment has generated. It is indeed amazing that he has chosen to adamantly refuse resigning from the post and the Govt. is equally adamant in defending it's controvertial decision in appointing him to the post giving the impression that the Govt. has much to hide in the 2G Scam case.

from:  krishna
Posted on: Jan 27, 2011 at 22:24 IST

In today's administratives and political wills, only the honest officers will be targetted and are being removed from the services.

from:  Panduranage Shastry
Posted on: Jan 27, 2011 at 15:04 IST

A weak response by the CVC. If he truly believes that he is of impeccable integrity, then he should have resigned forthwith and fought the case for his prestige however long the process drags out. Instead he pointed fingers at political crossfire. Which is in some ways funny because that is precisely the way many babus climb the rung. Occupational hazard Mr. Thomas! You have clearly enjoyed the rewards for the risk, but sometimes it does not work and a risk appears when enjoying the rewards!!

By the way, I wonder if the number of bidders in the game could be the reason for the $2 / tonne difference in Kerala vs. W.Bengal? Very sad state of affairs in the country.

from:  Karthik Rajasekaran
Posted on: Jan 25, 2011 at 09:31 IST
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