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    Government begins process to select new CVC

    New Delhi: The Government has forwarded a request for annulment of CVC PJ Thomas' appointment to President Prathibha Patil.

    Sources say the request was sent by the Law Ministry to the Department of Personnel and Training on Thursday and this was then forwarded to the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

    However, no independent confirmation from President's House was there whether it has been signed by President Patil.

    The Supreme Court on March 03, 2010 struck down the controversial appointment of PJ Thomas as the Central Vigilance Commissioner.

    While quashing the appointment of Thomas, the apex court faulted the HPC on grounds of arbitrariness and ignoring "relevant material" like the pending corruption case against Thomas.

    Coming down heavily on the HPC's decision, the court said in future appointments to CVC's post should not be restricted to civil servants alone and that people of impeccable integrity from other fields should be considered.

    Thomas, a former IAS officer of 1973 batch who was appointed as CVC on September 7 last despite a dissenting note by leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj in the HPC, is facing a corruption case in a Kerala court relating to palmolein imports in 1991 that allegedly caused a loss of over Rs 2 crore to the state.

    Thomas was the Food Secretary in the Kerala government at the time of import and the then chief minister K Karunakaran, who died recently, was also another accused in the case.

    Training its guns on the Prime Minister, the BJP has asked the Prime Minister to explain who will take responsibility for the appointment despite objections raised by Swaraj.