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Thomas May Resign Before SC Hearing On Monday

PTI 03 Dec 2010, 10:16:32 IST
New Delhi:  Controversial Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) PJ Thomas may step down ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on Monday when it is slated to take up a Public Interest Litigation against his appointment. Though Thomas has been maintaining that there was no

corruption charge against him and his conscience was clear, highly placed sources said that he may put in his papers to avoid embarrassment to the government when the issue figures in the apex court. Today could be his last day at work.

"I am morally clear. My conscience is very clear. I am continuing as CVC," he told reporters on Thursday dismissing as "speculative" questions on his possible resignation. Thomas' name figures in a chargesheet related to the alleged scam of importing Palmolein in Kerala in 1991 and the Supreme Court questioned how he would function in as CVC in view of a pending criminal case against him.

Sixty-year-old Thomas, who was Telecom Secretary till recently, was appointed to the CVC's post by a three-member panel headed by Prime Minister but not before the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj gave a dissenting note.

Appointed less than three months ago, his name figures in the chargesheet relating to import of palmolein when he was serving in the Kerala government.

The Supreme Court had also raised questions on his ability to supervise the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the 2G case. "It would be difficult for Thomas to objectively monitor the investigations," it had said. Following this, Thomas offered to recuse himself from supervising the probe.

Thomas has, however, got support of Kerala IAS officers. On Thursday, their Association expressed concern over the "smear campaign" against him. He was a man of "impeccable integrity", the Association said. PTI