HAD Chief Vigilance Commissioner PJ Thomas been a politician, he has every reason to resign immediately in the wake of repeated remarks from the Supreme Court of India doubting whether he would be able to objectively oversee the investigations into 2G scams, given that he himself was a telecom secretary. But Thomas is a mere bureaucrat, and if the 1973 batch Kerala cadre retired IAS resigns under pressure, he would go down in the history of Indian bureaucracy as a corrupt officer who was shown the door during 2G spectrum scam.
But unlike former telecom minister A Raja or Ashok Chavan who had to resign as
Maharashtra chief minister in the wake of Adarsh Housing scam, Thomas would not get a chance to go to public and give his point of view. After all, he is not fighting any election. So, while Raja and Chavan would win political battles and come back as MPs or ministers, Thomas would continue to carry a baggage.
Fellow bureaucrats in corridor say that he should have anticipated such a crisis and probably should not have taken up the CVC job at all. But he must not resign even if he is asked by the ruling party to do so. They feel, if he resigns at this juncture, he would be a political scapegoat. For the record, leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj who was a part of the selection panel opposed his candidature because of his linkage to a long-pending Kerala palmolein import scandal. He was also a secretary in the ministry of telecom, but he joined the ministry after the 2G spectrums were already issued. (Read: Know the bureaucrat who signed 2G spectrum licence files). But he is not accused of being a beneficiary of the scam.
Thomas himself came out in public on Thursday to say that he is morally clear and his conscience is very clear.
Kerala IAS officers on Thursday issued a statement saying that Thomas was a person of “impeccable integrity” and expressed concern over the “smear campaign” against him. So here are the questions that are being posed in corridors of power. Should Thomas resign? Or if he resigns, will he always be dubbed as a corrupt bureaucrat? Will he get a chance to go to the people and explain his position? And what’s if he does not resign? There are more questions than answers at this juncture.
Action and AppointmentsRP Indoria has been appointed as additional director general in the ministry of road transport and highways. Indoria, a regular chief engineer of the 1975 batch of Central Engineering Service (Roads) Group ‘A’ has a varied experience of serving in the ministry and NHAI. Prior to this appointment, Indoria was working as secretary general of Indian Roads Congress for the last two years. He has also served in the United Nations for nine years.
Jobs for retired bureaucrats
If you are a retired bureaucrat looking for a post-retirement placement in a Delhi officer, here it is. Just log on to www.jobcorridor.com and spot the post dated December 3, 2010. Job Corridor will give you a perspective of where to look for right opportunities in India's corridors of power.