NEW DELHI, March 3 (IANS) - Former chief election commissioner J.M. Lyngdoh said Thursday that the Supreme Court verdict setting aside the appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner P.J. Thomas was an "indictment" of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P. Chidambaram.
Thomas quit after the apex court struck down his appointment over his alleged involvement in a corruption scandal and raised the issue of "institutional integrity".
�Assuming my information is correct, then it�s a good thing because basically the prime minister and the home minister should not have made this appointment,� Lyngdoh said.
�It�s not an indictment of Thomas, its indictment of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister,� added the the man who presided over the Election Commission from June 2001 to February 2004.
Asked whether this was the end of the road for Thomas, Lyngdoh said: �I don�t know, you will have to ask those people who appointed him.�
Six months after the Kerala bureaucrat was named the country's anti-corruption watchdog, the Supreme Court said the appointment by a high-powered panel, consisting of Manmohan Singh, Chidambaram and Opposition leader Sushma Swaraj, did not exist in law.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj placed her Opposition to his appointment on record at a Sep 3, 2010 meeting. But the government overruled her and appointed him to the post.
A petition by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) challenged the appointment and said Thomas, a 1973 batch Indian Administrative Service officer who was earlier the telecom secretary, faced a criminal chargesheet in a case related to palm oil import in Kerala and that he was not an "outstanding civil servant of impeccable integrity".