Friday, January 28, 2011

Why govt’s defence of CVC does not hold much water

(Writer is Associate Producer in Headlines Today)
The Government has come out with a bizarre defence of beleaguered CVC (Chief Vigilance Commissioner) PJ Thomas. In a shocking disclosure, the Govt. told the Supreme Court that it was not aware of charges against Thomas in the Palmolien Oil import scam.
As far as I know, before the appointment of any candidate to the exalted office, the EMPANELMENT COMMITTEE (EC) forwards the name of potential candidates to the Top committee, which includes the PM, Finance Minister and the Leader of Opposition.

The EC, in-turn, before recommending the names, consider three points, which are

1. Who is the senior most candidate?
2. His record from Ministry of Personnel (MoP). (Experience; taint, if any).
3. A check of his antecedents by the Intelligence Bureau. (Crime record; cases, if any)
Only after being satisfied that all the above three parameters are met, the EC recommends the candidate for further perusal to the Top Committee.

Now the questions to be raised are:

Mr. Thomas are you ready to go???

1. Did PJ Thomas’s record with MoP fail to mention the fact that he was involved in the Palmolein oil import scam?

2. How did the IB fail to report that PJ has a taint on his career?

3. Sushma Swaraj is on record saying that she “brought this fact to the notice of Prime Minister and Home Minister in the meeting.”

Why then, did the Govt. override Opposition Leader’s objection? These are many of the few questions the Govt. need to answer to the nation. Its affidavit in the apex court that Thomas is an "outstanding officer of impeccable integrity” does not hold much water in the eyes of the public; let alone the SC, which definitely has more wisdom and prudence. The UPA Govt. must understand the fact that India cannot afford to have a ‘sacrosanct’ head of top surveillance watchdog (CVC) vouching for his integrity in the apex court.

(a) The Prime Minister - Chairperson;
(b) The Minister of Home Affairs - Member;
(c) The Leader of the Opposition in the House of the People - Member.

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