Thomas should step down
The controversy surrounding the appointment of P.J.Thomas as the Central Vigilance Commissioner refuses to die down. I am of the view that the opposition has taken the correct stand in demanding his sacking. And if he has to save himself from further humiliation, he should step down voluntarily to pave the way for the appointment of an officer who is acceptable to all sections of people.
One may argue that there is nothing adverse, which has been proved against him. There is a pending case and he should be presumed innocent till he is proven guilty. I agree that is the way law functions. However, in his case, there is a question of both propriety and ethics, which gets involved since he is occupying a key constitutional position. In order to discharge his duties in an impartial manner to the satisfaction of everyone, he must be seen above board even in perception. But that is not the case and whatever he may do, opposition parties will always see him with an element of suspicion.
Thomas who was the Telecom secretary and now heads the body, which will supervise the CBI, probe into the 2G-spectrum scam has offered to recuse himself from the case. But as Venkaiah Naidu of the BJP put it that if he was not going to be there to oversee the investigations what was his use. The CVC must be totally untainted. Otherwise people will never accept the credibility of any probe, which is held under his overall supervision. Brinda Karat of the CPM has also made similar observations.
The short point is that Thomas must step down to save the government from further embarrassment. He should not appear to be a thick skinned person who is insensitive to the growing criticism over his continuation and also the sharp observations of the Supreme Court.
The government has enough problems of its own with so many scams taking place and a person with unimpeachable integrity both in perception and in reality should head the Vigilance Commission. There are some bodies like the CVC, director CBI, the CAG, and Chiefs of staff in defence forces and heads of police and bureaucratic organizations that have to be people with unmatched integrity. Otherwise the faith of the people in our institutions will disappear. As it is the various pillars of our democracy are already facing a stiff test in the light of various scandals. The judiciary and the media are also under a shadow. We need to have a re-look at our institutions in order to strengthen them for the posterity.