CVC firm not to quit
  Jan 29, 2011 10.00 AM

The country’s Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) refuses to quit. PJ Thomas hasn't agreed to do the government the favour it desperately awaits. Scorched by the political heat rising from P J Thomas's appointment as central vigilance commissioner (CVC), the government hopes he quits soon as it fears the SC could quash the decision and deepen the Centre's embarrassment. The government is now hoping that the Supreme Court will push Thomas out of office by rejecting his appointment as the CVC cannot be dismissed but has to be impeached by Parliament.  It's an odd position for the government which has so far defended Thomas vigorously in court, even as judges in successive hearings made it clear that Thomas' selection as the country's senior-most officer in charge of fighting corruption was somewhat confounding because Thomas has been named in a corruption case dating back to 1991-92 when, as Food Secretary in Kerala, he sanctioned the import of Palmolein edible oil from Malaysia at exorbitant rates.  Thomas was appointed CVC by a three-member committee headed by the Prime Minister in September. Sushma Swaraj, the Leader of the Oppositon publicly protested against the PM's choice.

When the PM as Head of panel recommended Thomas' name to the President in September 2010, the biodata included of Thomas made no reference to the corruption charges against him. The Supreme Court asked yesterday if documents on Thomas' case were presented to the committee for which the Attorney General G E. Vahanvati said they hadn't and the judges seemed displeased. At the time of Thomas's appointment, the sanction for prosecution against him was still pending.

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