The Kerala High court has questioned the government as to why it is not appointing a Vigilance director for the state.
The court was considering former Minister KP Mohanan’s plea seeking dismissal of a Vigilance case against him.
HC observed that the Kerala Police chief who is currently in charge of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) will not be able to handle both the duties together and has asked the government to appoint another officer with independent charge.
The court observed that the Kerala police chief is already burdened with many responsibilities.
The HC observed that a lot of petitions seeking dismissal of Vigilance cases come to the court, which have to be signed by the investigative officer who has to submit enquiry reports with the signature of the Vigilance director. But none of these reports are being signed by the Director these days, the court said.
Court also said that officers of ADGP rank can become Vigilance Director and it is not necessary that someone with DGP rank is required.
On March 31, then Vigilance chief Jacob Thomas had gone on leave till May, following government pressure. Later, he took charge as the Director of the Institute of Management in Government (IMG). Alleging that his removal was not as per his wish, he told reporters, “You will soon know the reason for my removal from the Vigilance Chief position. It has to be fixed who will tell the reason first, I or government,” he said while adding that there is no guarantee on the tenure of his present post.
Later in May, DGP Loknath Behera took over as the VACB Director after the government reinstated Behera's predecessor TP Senkumar as the DGP following a Supreme Court order.
In June, after the retirement of Senkumar, Behera came back as police chief with additional charge of the VACB too.