Thomas moves HC seeking stay new CVC appointment

New Delhi: P J Thomas, whose appointment as CVC was cancelled by President Pratibha Patil after the Supreme Court held it as illegal, has moved the Delhi High Court seeking stay of the appointment of his successor who is being sworn in tomorrow.

In his writ petition filed yesterday, Thomas sought a direction to the President not to issue any warrant of appointment as Chief Vigilance Commissioner(CVC) to Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar without first deciding on his representation to her against the judgement of the Supreme Court.

Thomas in his representation to the President on March 16 had requested her to refer the decision of the Apex Court to a Constitution Bench.

The President cancelled Thomas`s appointment as Central CVC on March 15, 11 days after the apex court order.

Pradeep Kumar(62) will be sworn-in as the new CVC by President Patil at a ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhavan tomorrow.

"The main ground(in the HC petition) is that the decision was delivered by a three-judge bench. We are supporting the mandate of the Constitution that it should have been by a five-judge bench," his counsel Wills Matthews said.

"The warrant of appointment of Thomas was cancelled only on the basis of the said judgement. When the legality and the validity of the judgement in itself is disputed it is our humble view that only after reaching conclusion on the legality and validity of the judgement, the respondent (President) should go ahead with the appointment of new CVC," he said.

The Supreme Court had on March 3 quashed the appointment of Thomas as CVC, as a chargesheet was pending against him in a corruption case in Kerala. Thomas was appointed as CVC in September 2010.

The counsel for Thomas cited Article 145 (3) of the Constitution saying those issues connected with the interpretation of the Constitution have to be decided by a minimum five-judge bench.

"The President of India has also acted on the basis of the said judgement. That is why we sent our reference to her," Matthews said.