A section of IAS officers who decided to proceed on mass casual leave today to protest the "vindictive" attitude of Vigilance Chief Jacob Thomas, called it off after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told them it cannot be justified in any manner.
A section of IAS officers who decided to proceed on mass casual leave today to protest the “vindictive” attitude of Vigilance Chief Jacob Thomas, called it off after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told them it cannot be justified in any manner.Talking to reporters after meeting representatives of IAS Officers Association, Vijayan said government made it clear that their agitational path was being viewed very seriously. “It should not have happened. Top officials at the head of the administration taking to agitational path cannot be justified in any manner,” he said. “An official has the right to take casual leave. But when it takes the shape of an agitation, the government has to express dissatisfaction over it,” Vijayan said.
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The chief minister said the reason for their stir was linked to probes by vigilance and the government’s stand was that it would not interfere in the anti-corruption agency’s investigations. “Vigilance should carry out a free and impartial probe and that is the government’s stance,” he said, adding it was not the first time the agency was conducting a probe against IAS officers in the state.
In the past too, they had carried out probes against IAS officers and the guilty were suspended, he said.
However, it was natural to express emotion over the probe. But it was not correct on the part of IAS officers to resolve to launch a stir on the issue, he added.
Vijayan said IAS officers at the meeting said their move was not against the government, but only to express their concern. “The government accepted their statement”, he added.On allegations against Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau Director Jacob Thomas, Vijayan said a vigilance probe was held against the official on two-three issues and he was exonerated.
The IAS officers’ move to take casual leave as a mark of protest was the culmination of a long drawn tussle between some of them and Thomas. They had held that Thomas was “abusing” his powers and the government was “protecting” him though there were reports of allegations against him. The latest provocation was the decision of Vigilance to name senior IAS officer and Additional Chief Secretary (Industries) Paul Antony as third accused in the case related to alleged nepotism in appointment of a relative by former Industries Minister E P Jayarajan, the first accused in the case.
Paul Antony is the fourth IAS officer to come under the scanner of Vigilance after K M Abraham and Tom Jose, both facing charges of having assets disproportionate to known sources of income and S Padmakumar, former Managing Director of state-run Malabar Cements, who was arrested for alleged irregularities in the company.