The Crime Branch has decided to initiate a probe against DGP Jacob Thomas who is alleged to have acquired illegal assets. The state government also gave nod for the Crime Branch to start the probe on a complaint that Jacob Thomas has acquired wealth in benami names, i.e. in the names of other persons for him.
Jacob Thomas, one of the senior-most IPS officers in the state, who has been on more than a year-long suspension, was reinstated in service in September last year after getting a favourable order from the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT). Jacob Thomas is currently the managing director of Metal Industries Limited, a PSU under the Industries Department.
A native of Kannur district had filed a complaint to state police chief Loknath Behera that Jacob Thomas has bought land in and outside Kerala in the name of his nominees, reports Manorama News. DGP Loknath Behera had approached the state government stating that a probe is required to be initiated on the complaint. As per reports, it has been decided that the probe will be led by Thiruvananthapuram SP, Crime Branch. The government has asked the Crime Branch to submit a report in the case by January 31.
The complainant, Sathyan Naravoor, is a Congress leader, as per a report of the Times of India. According to the report, it has been ordered to take cognisance of the offence under Section 53 (Penalty for benami transaction) of Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988.
Jacob Thomas was suspended by the government in 2017 after he had slammed the government over law and order issues when the state was battling the aftereffects of Cyclone Ockhi. His suspension was then extended following a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) alleging that he was involved in a corruption scandal when he was the director of Ports department in the state. It was finally in July 2019 that he got an order from the CAT allowing his reinstatement into service.
During the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the officer had applied for voluntary retirement to contest for elections, but the government rejected it. There were also speculations that Jacob Thomas was about to join BJP at that time.