'Thomas a decent man, but shouldn't be CVC' | delhi | Hindustan Times
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'Thomas a decent man, but shouldn't be CVC'

In surprising remarks, former chief election commissioner JM Lyngdoh, who has challenged the appointment of chief vigilance commissioner PJ Thomas in the Supreme Court, on Wednesday described him as a decent man of integrity.

delhi Updated: Dec 09, 2010 01:09 IST
Nagendar Sharma

In surprising remarks, former chief election commissioner JM Lyngdoh, who has challenged the appointment of chief vigilance commissioner PJ Thomas in the Supreme Court, on Wednesday described him as a decent man of integrity.

Lyngdoh, who along with seven retired officers and an NGO, has demanded quashing of Thomas's appointment, also said he didn't endorse of a campaign against any individual.

Asked about the allegations of corruption against Thomas, the former CEC said over phone from Hyderabad : "In my view he (Thomas) is a decent chap. He is a man of integrity.

"Since the Supreme Court is hearing the matter, I do not endorse of any campaign against any individual. I don't agree with it," Lyngdoh said.

Asked if it was true that he had ever praised the work of Thomas during his career, Lyngdoh said: "It was a different matter. When I was the CEC, he was the chief electoral officer of Kerala. I had praised him for his good work then."

On the reasons behind his decision to challenge the appointment of Thomas as CVC, Lyngdoh said: "Under the present circumstances, he should not have been appointed to this post nor should he have accepted the post. Since both the conditions were not met, hence this petition."

In the petition filed by Lyngdoh and others, they have stated that since the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha had opposed the appointment therefore due to lack of unanimity the government should not have proceeded with its controversial decision. They have also pointed out that since a shadow of doubt had been cast it was not proper to have such an individual as the CVC.

They have also apprehended that the selection of Thomas may affect the transparent functioning of the CBI, since a committee headed by the CVC gives crucial recommendations for the appointment of the CBI director.

Apart from Lyngdoh, the other retired officers who have filed the petition are: Julio F Ribeiro, ex-DGP, Punjab, BR Lall, former joint director (CBI), former Air Chief Marshal S Krishnaswamy, SP Tallukdar, former member of the National Security Advisory Board, Javid A Chawdhury, former secretary; Professor S K Dube, former IIT director and scientist prof S K Joshi.

The Supreme Court on Monday had issued a notice to Thomas and the government on the issue.

The case will come up for hearing on January 27. Case history