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Ex-CVC Thomas withdraws plea from HC against his sacking

New Delhi: Former CVC P J Thomas on Tuesday withdrew from the Delhi High Court his plea for direction to the Rashtrapati Bhawan to decide his representation against the Supreme Court order sacking him.

"I seek to withdraw my petition," Wills Mathews, the counsel for Thomas told Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, seeking to withdraw his plea from the court.

Mathews withdrew the plea after Justice Endlaw remarked, "You cannot disturb the hierarchy of the judiciary and hence you please go to the same court."

During the hearing, the counsel for Thomas tried to clarify the position saying he did not want to challenge the Supreme Court order before the High Court.

"My prayer is limited to issuance of a direction to the Department of Personnel and Training which has not decided my representation to the President seeking Constitution of a five judge bench to decide afresh my removal from the post," Mathews said.

Justice Endlaw was not impressed with the argument and he told the advocate that the legal remedy is to approach the Supreme Court itself. This prompted Thomas to withdraw his plea.

Initiating the arguments, the counsel for Thomas said his plea seeking disposal of his representation before the appointment of his successor, Pradeep Kumar, has now become infructuous.

Earlier on July 14, the day the new CVC took oath, the High Court had refused to grant urgent hearing to Thomas` plea that his appeal, pending with the President against his sacking, be decided before his successor Pradeep Kumar assumes charge.

"It is quite difficult to hear your petition at the eleventh hour," a division bench of Justices Vikramjit Sen and Sindharth Mridul had said referring to the oath taking ceremony of the new CVC scheduled at 11 am that day.

Thomas had pleaded for a direction to President Pratibha Devisingh Patil not to issue any warrant of appointment as CVC to Defence Secretary Kumar without first deciding his representation to her against the judgement of the Supreme Court.

The apex court had on March 3 quashed the appointment of Thomas as CVC as a charge sheet was pending against him in a corruption case in Kerala. Thomas was appointed as CVC in September 2010.

Thomas had sought a direction to the Ministry of Personnel and Public Grievances that his representation against the Supreme Court verdict be decided within three weeks.

In his representation to the President, Thomas had sought invoking of Article 143 of the Constitution which empowers the President to get a five-member bench constituted to review the Supreme Court`s order quashing his appointment.

Thomas had cited reasons for non-filing a review plea before the Supreme Court saying the decision by its three judge bench lacked jurisdiction.

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