Wednesday, December 1, 2010

P.J. Thomas in or out - either way the government will suffer

The Central government is on the horns of a dilemma. If it asks the Chief Vigilance Commissioner P.J. Thomas to put in his papers as demanded by the Opposition, the wisdom of Manmohan Singh and his Home minister P. Chidambaram would be questioned in selecting him for the post in face of stiff protest by the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, only three months back. And if it allows Thomas to continue, it will continue to attract opprobrium from the Supreme Court.

But either of this should be preferable to the "smart" solution being tried for the problem that would let Thomas recuse himself from exercising oversight on the CBI's investigation into the 2G spectrum scam because he was the Telecom secretary till the end of August 2010. One had heard of High Court or Supreme Court judges recusing themselves from hearing a case where conflict of interests could be imputed but a CVC doing that from an investigation because he himself was a suspect, can not have any precedent in India or in any other democracy. But trust the Manmohan Singh government to create such dubious records again and again.

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