Sacked CVC Thomas files review petition in SC

Last Updated: Saturday, March 12, 2011 - 21:04

New Delhi: Former CVC P J Thomas has
decided to move the Supreme Court seeking review by a
Constitution bench of its March 3 judgement quashing his
appointment, claiming that judiciary has no right to decide
his eligibility for the post without prior reference from the
President.



His counsel Wills Matthews said that Thomas was
waiting for the Centre to file a review petition and in the
event of it not being filed the former CVC would file it
before April 2.
A review petition has to be filed within 30 days of
the judgement.



On March 3 the Supreme Court quashed the appointment
of Thomas as Central Vigilance Commissioner, holding that the
recommendation made by the high-powered panel--headed by Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh--did not consider the relevant
material and therefore its advice "does not exist in law".



Thomas, in his review petition, has submitted that the
apex court should not have quashed his appointment without
first allowing him to establish his innocence or otherwise in
the Palmolein case.



"The supreme court is having the power to initiate the
proceeding for the removal of CVC, only on a reference made
to by the president, and as such there in no reference of Her
Excellency the President of India in the present matter, and
hence, I fear whether the Hon`ble Supreme Court exercised
jurisdiction on an issue in which it was not having the
jurisdiction.
"This point requires further research and we are
studying this issue. In case the Court exercised the power
which it was not having, it is a void abinitio matter.



"In every fairness,these issues require
reconsideration ,and I am of the definite opinion that the
Office of the President of India cannot be treated as a
rubber stamp, and while interpreting the provisions of the
provisions of the Constitution connected with the powers of
the President of India, the CVC Act ,the court cannot go
against the basic structure of the constitution. The
Constitution is supreme," the former CVC contended.



The apex court in its judgement quashed Thomas`
appointment on the ground that it was "non-est"(illegal) in
the eyes of the law and upheld the PIL filed by the Centre for
Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) that he could not be
appointed to the post in view of a pending criminal case.



Thomas said his review petition has to be considered
by a larger Constitution Bench in the light of Article 146
(3) under which the minimum number of judges who are to sit
for the purpose of deciding any case involving a substantial
question of law as to the interpretation of this constitution
or for the purpose of hearing any reference under Article 143
shall be five.



"Whether the Hon`ble Supreme Court was correct in
reaching conclusions based on the palmolein case, without
going into the merits of the palmolein case at the time of
arguments observing that "we are concerned about future
appointments"?, the petition asked.
According to the petition the Supreme Court was duty
bound to appreciate the fact that the FIR in the Palmolein
oil case is more than 20 years old and he was prevented from
taking steps for quashing the proceedings due to the stay
granted by the apex court.



He submitted that quashing the appointment resulted in
miscarriage of justice not only to the Thomas but to all civil
servants of the country "because the mere lodging of an FIR is
sufficient to stop a honest officer from taking charge of the
coveted post and shall spoil his career prospects", the
petition contended.



Thomas stated that the apex court failed to consider
the danger of condemning a honest officer only on the
presumption of guilt without trial and without appreciating
the fact that it will demoralise the entire officers working
in similar circumstances ,and it can also affect their
discharge of duties without fear and favour.



PTI



First Published: Saturday, March 12, 2011 - 21:04

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