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How can PM's panel appoint a tainted CVC: SC

Dealing a big blow to the United Progressive Alliance government, the Supreme Court on Thursday quashed the appointment of P J Thomas as Central Vigilance Commissioner. The apex court held that the recommendation made by the high-powered panel -- headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh -- did not consider the relevant material and therefore its advice "does not exist in law".

Thomas, 60, who is facing a corruption case in a Kerala court related to the Palmolein import scam, resigned immediately after the apex court gave its keenly awaited verdict, just six months after the former bureaucrat was appointed as the 14th CVC.

"He has resigned. The Supreme Court has also held his appointment as illegal," Law Minister Veerappa Moily told reporters.

A bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swatantra Kumar said, "We declare that the recommendation made by the high-powered committee is non-existent in law. Which means that the recommendations made on September 3, 2010 does not exist in law. Consequently, the appointment of Thomas goes."

Image: P J Thomas

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