SC raps government, asks how CVC will function in light of criminal case

Monday, November 22, 2010

NEW DELHI - The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Central Government if Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) P.J. Thomas could function effectively in view of various charges levelled against him.

“Without looking into the file, we are concerned that if a person is an accused in a criminal case how will he function as CVC,” a bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia observed after Attorney General G E Vahanvati placed the file in a sealed cover before it.

“Under the service jurisprudence, a person cannot even be considered for promotions when a chargesheet is pending against him,” said the bench.

The bench further said it will go through the file and posted the matter for hearing two weeks later.

The name of Thomas figures in the chargesheet filed in a palmoleine export case.

The apex court had screened the file on the appointment of former telecom secretary P J Thomas as the chief vigilance commissioner, to verify whether he met the eligibility criterion of a “bureaucrat with an impeccable track record”.

The apex court had ordered the government to produce the file in response to a PIL that alleged that Thomas had failed the “impeccable track record” test as he was chargesheeted in the palmolein import scam when he was the chief secretary of Kerala.

The PIL, argued by Prashant Bhushan, also alleged that the UPA Government had breached the precedent of unanimity between the Prime Minister, Home Minister and Leader of Opposition, followed in appointing the new CVC. (ANI)

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