Didn’t know about chargesheet against Thomas, says former CVC

March 4th, 2011 - 2:24 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Mar 4 (ANI): Former Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) Pratyush Sinha has said that he was not aware of the chargesheet against PJ Thomas while clearing his name as Kerala Chief Secretary in 2007.

The clearance formed the basis for selection of Thomas as CVC in 2008.

“If someone had told us, that would have made us think,” Pratyush Sinha told Hindustan Times on Thursday.

The CVC’s vigilance clearance was the primary defence of the Central Government in and outside the Supreme Court for appointing Thomas to lead the watchdog.

Thomas, who is facing a corruption case in a Kerala court, handed over his resignation to the government on Thursday after the Supreme Court struck down his appointment as Central Vigilance Commissioner.

Thomas had sent his resignation to the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh. His lawyer has stated that Thomas will ask for a review of the judgement.

A three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia delivered its verdict on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that sought removal of Thomas from the position of CVC.

The apex court, which had on February 10 reserved its judgement on petitions challenging the appointment of Thomas, said the appointment was illegal and that he must go. The apex court further said criminal case should have been considered.

Earlier, a bench of Chief Justice S H Kapadia reserved their orders after hearing arguments from various sides, including those presented by Prashant Bhushan, counsel for the petitioner, the Centre for Public Interest Litigation, Thomas’s counsel KK Venugopal and Attorney General GE Vahanvati.

Thomas, through senior advocate K K Venugopal, had earlier argued that he fulfilled the eligibility criteria prescribed for the CVC’s post and the court could not take into account the pending chargesheet to fault him on grounds of impeccable integrity since it was not part of the qualifications prescribed under the CVC Act.

The Centre for Public Interest Litigation, an NGO and others had earlier challenged Thomas’s appointment as the CVC, quoting the Palmolein import corruption case in which Thomas is an accused. (ANI)

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