BJP lashes at govt for defending CVC`s appointment

BJP cornered the government for "defending" CVC PJ Thomas in the SC asking PM and Congress president Sonia Gandhi as to what was the "compulsion" to defend the "tainted" official.

Last Updated: Jan 18, 2011, 23:59 PM IST

New Delhi: BJP on Tuesday cornered the government for "defending" CVC P J Thomas in the Supreme Court, asking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi as to what was the "compulsion" to defend the "tainted" official and attack an upright CAG.

"This is a curious position that the Government of India is unabashedly trying to defend a tainted CVC and unleashing an aggressive attack on an upright CAG. But in the process the institutional credibility of both is getting weakened," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

The government in an affidavit before the Supreme Court had yesterday defended Thomas and his appointment as CVC.
Alleging that the government had "deliberately not done its homework on some appointments", Prasad maintained that even in the case of junior officers "due diligence" practised, but had been given the go-by while making Thomas the CVC.

"Dr Manmohan Singh, what is the compulsion that you are so aggressively defending the indefensible, namely the tainted CVC?" Prasad asked.

He cited a government circular dated September 14, 1992 to argue that government servants under suspension, or against whom disciplinary action or criminal charges are pending can be given only ad hoc promotions. He said the government has to ensure while promoting an officer that it is not against public interest.
"BJP would like to know from the government that if such restrictions are there in case of a simple officer of a government, are the same provisions not applicable in the case of CVC?" he said, adding that "a proper criminal proceeding is pending against the CVC".

Prasad asked the Prime Minister why despite Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj`s objection to Thomas` appointment as CVC, the government had gone ahead.

"In the light of all this, the Prime Minister should tell us that even the appointment of a simple officer in his government is done with due diligence, but this was done for the senior-most official and watchdog of corruption?" Prasad said.

BJP also posed questions to Congress President Sonia Gandhi while taking digs at her five-points for fighting corruption.

"I want to ask Sonia Gandhi, you are giving five bullet points of do`s and don`ts to Congressmen to prevent corruption. Madam, Sonia Gandhi there are no do`s and don`ts in case of CVC? Certainly the country is entitled to know," Prasad said.

PTI