Case against Thomas was not shown in records before panel

Copies of the proceedings of the meeting circulated to media by RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agarwal today showed that Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj had recorded her dissent.

"I disagree," she had written in her hand on the decision to appoint Thomas which was also signed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram, the other members of the selection committee.

There was also nothing in the documents to show that the issue of corruption case against Thomas was discussed in the meeting.

The documents also contained the bio data of Thomas and two other candidates -- Bijoy Chatterjee and S Krishnan -- who were also senior bureaucrats but Thomas' bio data does not not contain reference to the corruption case filed against him in the Palmolein import case.

Yesterday, Attorney General G E Vahanvati had told the Supreme Court that the materials pertaining to sanction for prosecution of Thomas in a corruption case was not placed before the selection committee. Thomas' bio-data also did not reflect this fact, he had said.

Agarwal said the government should not have appointed him to the post of CVC in the face of dissent from Swaraj. He said in an earlier case of appointment of Central Information Commissioner, the government dropped the appointment of a candidate when the then Leader of Opposition L K Advani had expressed reservations.

The proceedings of the committee also recorded Swaraj's disagreement.
"After due consideration, the majority of the Committee recommended the name of Shri P J Thomas IAS (KL/73) for appointment as the Central Vigilance Commissioner in the Central Vigilance Commission, with Smt Sushma Swaraj recording her disagreement," the proceedings noted.

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