I accept my responsibility: PM on CVC issue

Last Updated: Saturday, March 5, 2011 - 09:36

Jammu: "I respect the judgement of the
Supreme Court and I accept my responsibility," Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh responded on Friday, a day after the apex court
struck down the controversial appointment of PJ Thomas as the
Central Vigilance Commissioner.

"It is necessary to ensure that such things do not
happen again," Singh said at a press conference on being asked
about his future course of action on the issue.

The Prime Minister, who has been targeted by the
opposition, also said this issue did not relate to coalition
compulsions.

"Well, I think what we see, this is not a question
which relates to the compulsions of the coalition. As for the
rest, I have already said that I respect the judgement of the
Supreme Court," he said.

"Obviously, I think the Supreme Court has pronounced
and as a loyal citizen of the country...I accept it. I respect
the judgement and I accept my responsibility," he said.

He was asked about earlier having hinted at coalition
compulsions after the 2G spectrum controversy broke out. Since
he heads the high power committee (HPC) having Home Minister P
Chidambaram and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma
Swaraj for the the appointment of CVC, who "misled" him,
Singh was asked.

To another question on what would be his line of action
now, he said, "I should speak first in Parliament. I have not
made up my mind. But the issue you have raised is an important
issue. It is necessary to ensure that such things do not
happen again".

While quashing the appointment of Thomas, the apex
court faulted the HPC on grounds of arbitrariness and ignoring
"relevant material" like the pending corruption case against
Thomas.

Coming down heavily on the HPC`s decision, the court
said in future appointments to CVC`s post should not be
restricted to civil servants alone and that people of
impeccable integrity from other fields should be considered.

Thomas, a former IAS officer of 1973 batch who was
appointed as CVC on September 7 last despite a dissenting note
by leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj in the HPC, is facing a
corruption case in a Kerala court relating to Palmolein
imports in 1991 that allegedly caused a loss of over Rs two
crore to the state.

Thomas was the Food Secretary in the Kerala government
at the time of import and the then chief minister K
Karunakaran, who died recently, was also another accused in
the case.

Training its guns on the Prime Minister, the BJP has
asked the Prime Minister to explain who will take
responsibility for the appointment despite objections raised
by Swaraj.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, March 5, 2011 - 09:36

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