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Former CVC N Vittal Backs Thomas; Says He Need Not To Resign

PTI 09 Dec 2010, 20:28:47 IST
New Delhi, Dec 9: Beleaguered Central Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas today got the backing of one of his predecessors N Vittal, who said there is no need for him to resign.

He cited Thomas's clean service record and expressed hope that he will come out clean on all charges or issues raised against him after the Supreme Court judgement.

"P J Thomas need not resign as individually there is no complaint against him. Integrity is not at all an issue. Thomas has an excellent record. He has been cleared for empanelment to the Government of India....

"So an officer, who has a record and has come through the whole selection. I think it will be largely wrong to cast any aspersions on the integrity or the personality of Thomas," Vittal told reporters here.

"The whole question is about selection process and perception about the CVC. There are two issues before the Supreme Court. One is that what kind of people can become CVC, that is a man of impeccable integrity and secondly that the committee of Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition and Home Minister should choose CVC through consultation or consent.

"Those two issues, I am sure will be clarified after the Supreme Court's decision. Once that judgement comes, I think it will go to strengthen the institution of CVC and whatever the current controversy is. It will be cleared," Vittal said.

"I am optimistic and, as a 72-year-old man, I am confident that as Sita came out of 'agnipariksha', the institution of the CVC will emerge stronger," Vittal said.

Vittal also objected to the use of word 'tainted' for Thomas in the media.

"The use of word tainted (for CVC) is wrong. The whole issue is before the court and we need to wait for its decision. It is all about perception on whatever discussion is on in the media.

"Today discussion is all about propriety. The issue of propriety needs to be taken to a final position as per the rule of law," he said on the sidelines of a seminar here.

60-year-old Thomas was selected as CVC by a three-member panel of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj and Home Minister P Chidambaram. Swaraj had registered a dissent note on Thomas's selection citing pending criminal charges.

The CVC's name figures in the charge sheet in a case relating to import of palmolein when he was serving in the Kerala government.

The Supreme Court had also raised questions on Thomas' ability to supervise the CBI investigations in the 2G spectrum allocation case. Thomas has earlier served in the Telecom Ministry as Secretary.

Thomas, however, refused to react to charges levelled against him.

"These things are subjudice. I have no comments on that," he said when asked to comment on the apex court's observation and opposition parties charges against him. PTI