In what comes as a clear violation of service rules, it has been revealed that VACB director Jacob Thomas has been holding undisclosed property of about 50 acres in Tamil Nadu, as per an exclusive report by K P Sai Kiran, Times of India.
In his latest disclosure of assets as on January 1 this year, the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) chief didn't mention about this property, which is at Sethur village in Rajapalayam taluk, Virudhunagar. According to rule 16 (2) of all India service conduct rules, 1968, details of all immovable properties of officers -whether owned, acquired or leased by them -should be submitted to the government.
The registration of the property was made in November 2001. According to his latest disclosure of assets, Jacob Thomas has assets worth Rs 37.95 crore which makes him the richest serving IPS officer in the state.
Vigilance and anti-corruption bureau (VACB) director Jacob Thomas made news earlier by making critical statements against the government when the UDF was in power. The fight between him and the government began after he was removed as the head of the Fire Force. He even took on the government saying that the move was to satisfy the builder mafia. However, Thomas was in the good books of the LDF and he was appointed as the VACB head again after the coalition came to power.
In October last year, Thomas had offered to step down citing personal reasons. This was after corruption allegations were levelled against him during his stint as the Ports Director. Also, a section of the IAS officers had approached the chief minister seeking restrictions on Thomas. All these had put the government on the defensive.
The Pinarayi government gave him the plum post to rid many departments of corruption. When in opposition, the LDF had portrayed Thomas as an honest officer for his stand in the bar bribery case which proved costly for the then UDF ministers K M Mani and K Babu.