Kerala DGP Jacob Thomas suspended for speaking against corruption

20 December 2017

The CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala today suspended DGP Jacob Thomas, the senior-most IPS officer in the state cadre, from service for criticising governments - both present and former - for perpetrating corruption at all levels.

Thomas was sidelined by the government which appointed him as director of the Institute of Management in Government (IMG) after earlier removing him from the position of the chief of vigilance and anti-corruption bureau.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had directed suspension of the officer under the relevant sections of All India Service Rules as some of his recent remarks had shown the state government in poor light, reports quoting official sources said.

Speaking at a seminar on International Anti- Corruption Day, on 9 December, Thomas had lashed out at the state government alleging that there was total breakdown of law and order situation in the state.

Thomas also said that the fisher community would not have been as affected if ''corrupt officials had not looted'' a post-tsunami rehabilitation fund established after the Tsunami that devastated the peninsular coast.

Stating that all "corrupt forces" were united in the state and were in positions of power, the official said that there was a conscious attempt to silence those who stood against corruption.

Thomas, a former Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau director, is reported to have said there was a total ''break down of law and order in the state''.

After an internal inquiry, the Kerala government said Thomas' comments were ''prejudicial to the security of the state''. The comments were ''aimed to exacerbate such feelings, which could have had serious repercussions on the law and order and peace along the coast'', the inquiry said.

Thomas said he was yet to receive his suspension order, but added that people who speak against corruption are ''bullied into silence worldwide,'' if not annihilated.

Jacob Thomas was already facing disciplinary action for penning his bare-all autobiography "Sravukalkkoppam Neenthumpol" (Swimming Along With Sharks), which he wrote without seeking any permission from the prior government.

Though a three-member panel had recommended criminal proceedings against the officer, the government had later decided to limit it to disciplinary action only for penning the book.

Known for his strong stand against corruption, the IPS officer had earned the ruling CPI(M)'s ire after he registered a vigilance case against the then industries minister E P Jayarajan over charges of nepotism following which he had to resign from the cabinet.

Chief secretary, K M Abraham and Additional chief secretary, Tom Jose had lodged a complaint with the chief minister against Thomas after the vigilance department conducted raids on their residences over alleged disproportionate assets.

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