Pinarayi Vijayan said in the assembly that the government will offer full support to Jacob Thomas.

Jacob Thomas is a target for many says Pinarayi govt orders probe
news Assembly affairs Monday, October 24, 2016 - 18:36

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in the assembly that the crime branch will investigate into the complaint by Kerala Vigilance chief Jacob Thomas that his phone was being tapped into and emails snooped upon.

Saying that it was not the policy of the state government to tap into its officials or bureaucrats’ phones, Pinarayi said, “The government is offering its wholehearted support to Jacob Thomas. There would not be any move to limit the freedom enjoyed by the Vigilance.”

Jacob Thomas, the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau chief, who was appointed soon after the CPI (M)-led LDF government assumed office in May, is currently pursuing a few cases in which cabinet ministers in the previous Oommen Chandy government are allegedly involved.

Replying to the sharp criticism against his department, Pinarayi hit back at the opposition, saying that Thomas faces the heat because he is pursuing some high-profile cases and that he might be a target.

Pinarayi said this in the state assembly when former state Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan sought to move an adjournment motion to discuss the grave chaos prevailing among the top brass of the state police force.

"Never before has such a situation prevailed in the police force, like now when there is total disharmony among the top brass in the state police. There is either a deep-rooted conspiracy against Thomas or the DGP is trying to clamour for some cheap publicity," Radhakrishnan said.

Jacob Thomas on Friday filed a complaint with Kerala Police chief (law and order) Loknath Behra and demanded that a probe be initiated after a newspaper reported that his mobile was being tapped and emails snooped into.

However, responding to the media on Sunday, Behera said that he hasn’t given permission for Thomas’ phone to be tapped.

“Though the IG has the power to tap phone, the protocol stipulates that it should be reported to the DGP within three days. Usually, the IG does not take such action without informing the DGP as it would became his sole responsibility,” Behera was quoted as saying. 

Before leading the entire opposition out of the assembly, Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said it is strange that all this is happening to Thomas ever since he started probing the role played by EP Jayarajan -- the powerful State Industries Minister who resigned earlier this month following nepotism charges.

"A mobile can be tapped only if the state Home Secretary gives permission, but here it appears that a divide with the police force has led to this episode, which is of a grave nature and sadly the Chief Minister has lost control of things."

"If a DGP is facing this, what can the ordinary people expect," said Chennithala, after leading the Opposition to walk out as the Speaker disallowed a discussion on the matter.

(Inputs IANS)



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