Supreme Court questions Thomas’ credibility

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NEW DELHI - The Supreme Court Tuesday expressed reservation on the objectivity of Central Vigilance Commissioner P.J. Thomas if he were to supervise the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the 2G spectrum scam.

The court said that as secretary of the Department of Telecom, Thomas had justified certain actions that are now under the scanner of the CBI.

It would be very difficult for him to be objective if he were to supervise the CBI probe, said the bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly.

The court observation came in the wake of submission by senior counsel K.K. Venugopal that the supervision of the investigation by the CBI could only be done by the statutory authority. Under the statute, the CVC is the supervising authority of the CBI.

The question of supervision by people of independent and impeccable credentials came after the central government informed the court that it had no objection to the court monitoring the investigation by the CBI into 2G spectrum scam.

Venugopal told the court that the supervision of the investigation into the spectrum scam could be done by the Vigilance Commissioner, whose appointment procedure is the same as that of the CVC. Former Karnataka director general of police R. Shree Kumar is the Vigilance Commissioner.

Agreeing on Shree Kumar, senior counsel Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), wondered who will be the second person to supervise the CBI investigation.

Veugopal told the court that there are two Vigilance Commissioners.

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