The HC on March 20 asked DGP-rank officer Jacob Thomas, former director of vigilance and anti-corruption bureau, to appear before it on April 2 to respond on contempt charge. The suo motu case was initiated by the chief justice after considering a petition filed by a lawyer who submitted that the remarks made by the officer in the complaint amounted to contempt of court.
A senior IPS officer from Kerala has approached the Supreme Court challenging suo motu contempt proceedings initiated by the Kerala high court for naming two of its judges in his complaint to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) while seeking a probe against prosecutors and investigators for not briefing the courts in high-profile corruption cases listed before the judges.
The court said that prima facie the complaint filed by him amounted to criminal contempt. Challenging HC’s decision, Thomas moved the SC through his advocate Haris Beeran and contended that he had not made any remarks against the judges and had sought probe against officers who were pursuing the corruption cases against politicians and bureaucrats in the state.
“The impugned complaint addressed to the CVC was clearly against the prosecutors and the investigators who have misled the judicial system in arriving at a certain conclusion in high profile corruption cases involving the politicians and ministers of the state. It is submitted that the petitioner in unequivocal terms has mentioned in the complaint itself that he does not intend to cast any allegations against the judges and that what he clearly intends by the said complaint is an enquiry into the way the high profile corruption cases have been handled by the investigators and conducted by the prosecution,” he said.
The officer also attached a copy of his complaint along with his petition in SC to buttress his point that he in no way even remotely suggested that the inquiry should be initiated against the judges. Thomas in his six-page complaint had said, “All the high profile cases derailed or negligently proceeded as a result of the deficient representation by the prosecutors and investigators before the HC judges (names withheld) during 2017, 2018, may be enquired thoroughly for possible conspiracy and obstruction of justice…”
By- Nikita Goel, Convener, Student Reporter Committee, INBA