The Centre on Monday strongly defended the appointment of controversial bureaucrat P J Thomas -- facing a corruption case in a Kerala court -- as Central Vigilance Commissioner, saying he was an "outstanding officer" with "impeccable integrity".
In an affidavit in the Supreme Court, cleared by Attorney General G E Vahanvati, the government also said there was no need for "consensus" of the three member high powered committee on the CVC's appointment. While Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram had approved his appointment, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj, who was the third member of the panel, opposed the same on account of Thomas's "tainted" image.
The affidavit said no statutory norms were violated in the appointment of Thomas and his suitability for the post should not be decided by the apex court.
"It is well settled that a question of suitability should be left to the wisdom of the appointing authority. Suitability cannot be questioned by the court and the suitability should be left to the wisdom of the appointing authority."