CVC case: BJP says govt claim ''patent lie'', wants PM to reply

New Delhi, Jan 27 (PTI) BJP today slammed the governmentfor claiming in the Supreme Court that the Committee, whichchose P J Thomas as the CVC last year, was not aware ofcorruption charges against him, and sought an answer fromPrime Minister Manmohan Singh for the "patent lie".

Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj, who was a member ofthe Committee headed by the Prime Minister and had opposedThomas'' selection in writing, said she would file an affidavitin the Supreme Court to "set the record straight".

Swaraj said she had personally brought to the notice ofthe Prime Minister and Home Minister P Chidambaram, the othertwo members of the selection panel, the "fact" about chargesof corruption against Thomas in two-decade-old Palmoleinimport case in Kerala but they had "persisted" with hisappointment.

"It is not at all true. It is a mis-statement... Thegovernment is speaking one untruth after another untruth," theBJP leader told reporters here.

"There is one falsehood after another falsehood, onebaseless statement after another baseless statement," saidSwaraj, who had put on record her dissent to Thomas'' choice.

She was reacting to the affidavit filed by AttorneyGeneral G E Vahanvati in the Supreme Court today that thepanel was not aware of the charges in the Palmolein importcase pending against him in Kerala.

After her dissent was over-rurled, Swaraj had metPresident Pratibha Patil to seek her intervention to stop the"scandalous" appointment. The main opposition party had alsoboycotted the CVC''s swearing-in ceremony on September 7 as amark of protest.

"I have always stayed away from judicial proceedings sofar but now I have decided to file my affidavit before theSupreme court to state the fact," she said.

She said her main obection to Thomas'' selection was thatthere was chargesheet against him in a corruption case andsanction was granted by Kerala government for his prosecution.

Contending that the government''s claim was a "patent lie"aimed at "misleading" the court, party spokesman Ravi ShankarPrasad said the BJP seeks clarifications from the PrimeMinister on the issue in the wake of the AG''s affidavit.

"This is a scam which reaches straight to the PrimeMinister''s door. There is no alibi as in the case of A Rajaand Suresh Kalmadi," Prasad told reporters.

"The most scandalous scams take place right under yourseat. And you preside over an empire of scandals andcorruption. You want to say you don''t know?" Prasad said.


Prasad described the government stand in the SupremeCourt on P J Thomas as "strange".

He insisted that Swaraj had informed the selectionpanel, comprising of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, HomeMinister P Chidambaram and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha,that prosecution was pending against Thomas in the Palmolienimport case.

"She had also said that an extra day be taken toinquire about Thomas. Yet the government insisted on his name.

We ask the Prime Minister to clarify when and how did he cometo know about the prosecution case against Thomas," Prasadsaid.

"She will file an affidavit to set the record straightabout the patent lie spoken in the Supreme Court," he added.

BJP maintained that Thomas was deliberately chosen asthe government was facing several corruption cases.

"We feel that because of the surrounding suspiciouscircumstances relating to his appointment and the governmentof India''s patent falsehood as explained today. Dr ManmohanSingh government deliberately wanted to pliant officer as theCVC," Prasad said.

In the panel meeting, Swaraj had asserted that her mainobection to Thomas'' appointment was that there was achargesheet against him in a corruption case and sanction wasgranted by Kerala government for his prosecution.

An NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, and othershad challenged Thomas'' appointment as the CVC, citing thePamolein import corruption case in which the top rankingofficial is an accused.

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