I accept my responsibility: PM on CVC issue
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Last Updated: Saturday, March 05, 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.


First Published: Saturday, March 05, 2011, 09:36

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