New Delhi: The Supreme Court will pronounce
its verdict on Thursday on petitions challenging the appointment
of former bureaucrat P J Thomas, who is facing a corruption
case in Kerala, as Central Vigilance Commissioner.
A bench of Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justices K S
Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar had reserved its judgement
on February 10.
The PIL filed by an NGO, Center for Public Interest
Litigation (CPIL) and retired bureacrats and police officials,
including former Chief Election Commissioner J M Lyngdoh, had
challenged Thomas` appointment to the post in view of a
pending criminal case against him in a Kerala court.
Thomas was appointed CVC on September 7 last year.
Thomas has contested the PIL contending that he was
appointed to the post in view of the vigilance clearance given
to him before his appointment as Secretary in the union
Further, the embattled CVC had said the corruption
case pending against him in the Kerala Court was a result of
political rivalry between former Chief Minister K Karunakaran
and present Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan.
The petitioners have contended Thomas cannot be
considered as a person of "impeccable integrity" as a
chargesheet was filed against him in palmolein import scam
when he was a secretary in the Kerala Ministry of Food and
Civil Supplies. He had secured bail from a local court.
The petitioners have also alleged he was appointed
despite strong objections from from Leader of the Opposition
in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj who was a member of the 3-member
panel headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The other
member of the panel is Home Minister P Chidambaram.
The petitioners also said he could not be appointed CVC
on account of "conflict of interest" as till recently he was
serving as Telecom secretary and that there was the allegation
that he was involved in an alleged "cover-up" of 2G spectrum
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had in its
report said the loss to the exchequer as a result of sale of
spectrum licences to certain companies at undervalued prices
was to the tune of Rs.1.76 lakh crore.