Vigilance director Jacob Thomas seeks extension of leavetext_fields
Thiruvananthapuram: Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau Director Jacob Thomas, who was asked by the LDF government in March last to go on leave after the High Court criticised him, has sought extension of the leave by a month.
Thomas, whose functioning style often courted controversy, was supposed to rejoin Tuesday.
As per reports, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan asked Thomas to go on leave primarily after the high court criticised him over various cases pending before it.
DGP Loknath Behra was given additional charge of the Vigilance bureau.
The development came as a surprise as Chief Minister Vijayan had all along been supporting Thomas despite senior bureaucrats' displeasure over his functioning style.
They had even threatened to go on mass casual leave alleging that Thomas was acting with vendetta.
While hearing last month a case on appointment of N Shanker Reddy as vigilance director by the previous UDF government, the high court had wondered 'if a vigilance raj' prevailed in the state.
The court had also asked why the government was not removing the official and how it could go forward with him.
The Congress-led opposition UDF had come out against Thomas and said due to the tussle between the IPS officer and senior IAS officers, the state administration had come to a standstill.
Thomas' stand on a case of nepotism against former Industries Minister E P Jayarajan had invited the ire of ruling CPI(M) also.
Two additional chief secretaries, K M Abraham and Tom Jose, too had lodged a complaint with the chief minister against Thomas after vigilance department conducted raids on their residences in disproportionate assets case.
They had asserted that the raids were meant only to insult them publicly.