Supreme Court to hear plea against CVC Thomas’s appointment

Monday, December 6, 2010

NEW DELHI - The Supreme Court will hear today two Public Interest Litigations challenging the appointment of P J Thomas as Central Vigilance Commissioner.

The petitions will hear by a bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar.

The two PILs-one filed by an NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation and other by the former CEC-have contended that Thomas was considered for the crucial post despite objection from the Leader of the Opposition who was part of a high-power committee for the appointment of CVC.

On Tuesday, the apex court pointed out that since the CBI functions under the overall supervision of the CVC, and therefore, it would be difficult for Thomas to objectively monitor the investigations.

However, senior counsel K K Venugopal appearing for the CBI, submitted that there was a provision for allowing one of the Vigilance Commissioners to take over the functions of the CVC.

The apex court had earlier asked the Central Government if 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.

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

The apex court had screened the file for the appointment of 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. (ANI)

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