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I accept my responsibility: PM on CVC's appointment

Last updated on: March 4, 2011 21:59 IST

I accept my responsibility: PM on CVC's appointment

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I respect the judgment of the Supreme Court and I accept my responsibility," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh responded on Friday, a day after the apex court struck down the controversial appointment of P J Thomas as the Central Vigilance Commissioner.

"It is necessary to ensure that such things do not happen again," Singh said at a press conference on being asked about his future course of action on the issue.

The Prime Minister, who has been targetted by the opposition, also said this issue did not relate to coalition compulsions.
"Well, I think what we see, this is not a question which relates to the compulsions of the coalition. As for the rest, I have already said that I respect the judgment of the Supreme Court," he said.

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Image: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh

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I respect SC's judgment on CVC Thomas: PM

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Obviously, I think the Supreme Court has pronounced and as a loyal citizen of the country. I accept it. I respect the judgment and I accept my responsibility," Dr Singh said. He was asked about earlier having hinted at coalition compulsions after the 2G spectrum controversy broke out. Since he heads the high power committee having Home Minister P Chidambaram and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj for the appointment of CVC, who "misled" him, Singh was asked.

To another question on what would be his line of action now, he said, "I should speak first in Parliament. I have not made up my mind. But the issue you have raised is an important issue. It is necessary to ensure that such things do not happen again".

While quashing the appointment of Thomas, the apex court faulted the HPC on grounds of arbitrariness and ignoring "relevant material" like the pending corruption case against Thomas.

Image: Dr Manmohan Singh

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In future, CVC's appointment will not be restricted to civil servants: SC

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Coming down heavily on the HPC's decision, the court said in future appointments to CVC's post should not be restricted to civil servants alone and that people of impeccable integrity from other fields should be considered.

Thomas, a former IAS officer of 1973 batch who was appointed as CVC on September 7 last despite a dissenting note by leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj in the HPC, is facing a corruption case in a Kerala court relating to Palmolein imports in 1991 that allegedly caused a loss of over Rs 2 crore to the state.

Thomas was the food secretary in the Kerala government at the time of import and the then chief minister K Karunakaran, who died recently, was also another accused in the case
.

Image: PJ Thomas

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I appreciate PM's statement: Sushma Swaraj

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The PM's confession, however, seemed to have created a rift in the Bharatiya Janata Party. The party spoke in different voices over owning of responsibility by Dr Singh on the CVC issue with the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj saying the matter should rest now while her party said he should respond in Parliament.

"I appreciate the statement of the Prime Minister owning responsibility for the appointment of CVC which has been quashed by Supreme Court. I think this is enough. Let matters rest at this and we move forward," Swaraj said on
Twitter.

Image: Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj

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'PM's casual comment owing responsiblity not enough'

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Though Swaraj was in a mood to end the matter, her party's chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad expressed different sentiments, saying this was not enough.

"We will wait for the Prime Minister's structured response in Parliament on the issue. Just a casual comment on owning responsibility is not enough. There should also be determination of this responsibility," Prasad said.

Image: BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad

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