New Delhi, Feb 2 (ANI): Hours after Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram denied that he had misled the Committee, which selected the Chief Vigilance Commissioner, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj today said the Home Minister did not reveal the truth initially, and added that his comments on the issue are his afterthoughts.
"I saw the statement the Home Minister gave. I have to only say that is he knew of the case against Thomas, it was his primary duty to appraise the selection committee of the same. He concealed this information from the members," Swaraj told reporters after her meeting with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna.
"It was me who brought this to the notice of the committee, who at that time said that Thomas was acquited in the Palmolein case. What the minister is saying now are all his afterthoughts and absolutely irrelevant," she added.n a statement issued here, Chidambaram earlier today said: "I take exception to the statement by Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj, that I had 'misled the Selection Committee' and told the Committee that PJ Thomas had been 'acquitted'. Actually, Swaraj is tying herself in knots by making thoughtless allegations."
"Firstly, if no sanction for prosecution had been granted since 1999 against P.J. Thomas (as admitted by her) how could the case have proceeded to trial or ended in an acquittal of Shri Thomas? Secondly, if the Supreme Court had stayed the trial of the case (as admitted by her), is it not self-evident that the case was pending and nobody could have been either acquitted or convicted?," he said.
He further reiterated that the Committee was aware of the Palmolein case; that no sanction for prosecution of Thomas had been granted since 1999.
The case was pending in the trial court. The Supreme Court had stayed the trial of the case and the then CVC had granted vigilance clearance in respect of Thomas, Chidambaram said.
Emphasising that he issued this rejoinder, once again, most reluctantly, Chidambaram said: "I would request Sushma Swaraj to respect the rule of sub judice and allow the Supreme Court to decide the case."
On Tuesday, Sushma Swaraj said that Chidambaram had claimed in the selection committee meeting that PJ Thomas had been acquitted in the Palmolein import case.
"Chidambaram's claim that decision was taken in Thomas' favour after a detailed discussion is far from truth. The Government had not informed the committee members about the pending case against Thomas. When I brought it to the notice of the committee, Chidambaram said Thomas has been acquitted in that case," said Sushma Swaraj.
"I had decided to file an affidavit in the CVC case to apprise the Supreme Court of true facts. The Home Minister has now admitted that I had raised the palmolein case in the meeting and recorded my disagreement precisely for this reason. Now there is no dispute on the facts. Therefore, there is no need for my affidavit," she added.
Sushma Swaraj had put on record her disagreement over appointment of Thomas as CVC.
The Government on Thursday told the Supreme Court that the selection committee was not aware of the case pending against PJ Thomas. (ANI)