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Why is he still here? Kerala HC to government on VACB Director Jacob Thomas
 
(KOCHI,Mar,29,2017): Coming down heavily on the Vigilance and AntiCorruption Bureau, the Kerala High Court on Wednesday asked the State government why the Vigilance Director was not removed from the post as the department was interfering in matters under the purview of courts and legislature. Jacob Thomas is the current VACB Director.

“There is a strange situation in Kerala anarchic actions of excess on the part of the VACB. Why is the State government not intervening in this,” said the court.

The court made the observations while hearing a petition filed by Benny Abraham, an industrialist, seeking to quash the Vigilance FIR against him. The prosecution case was then Finance Minister K M Mani had helped Super Pigment Lead Oxide manufacturing unit in Kottayam, to evade tax to the tune of Rs 1.66 crore.

The court said the petitioner happened to avail the benefit of a budget proposal made by the then government and it has now become a part of the Finance Act passed by the Assembly.

“The VACB is now probing into a Legislative Act. If it goes to that extent, the High Court will have to interfere. The DySP, who registered the case, should appear before the court in person on April 6 and explain how or under what authority he registered the case to probe into the wisdom of the Legislative Assembly of Kerala that passed the Finance Act, by which many traders, including the petitioner, might have got the benefit,” the court said. “The officer should also file a written explanation why the investigation process should be allowed to continue. If it is not satisfactory and if the court finds Vigilance exceeds into the Legislative process, the Director of Vigilance will have to be summoned to court to show cause against actions,” the court said.

The HC said Chief Secretary and Secretaries of Home and Finance departments should also explain the government’s stand in such matters of excess on the part of the VACB


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