The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) on Friday registered a case against Additional Chief Secretary Tom Jose on charges of amassing wealth disproportionate to known sources of income. The sleuths, who raided the office and residential premises of the senior IAS official, told the Vigilance court in Muvattupuzha that Jose had allegedly amassed ill-gotten wealth amounting to Rs 1.19 crore between 2010 and 2016.
Jose, president of the Kerala chapter of IAS Officers Association, will face charges under Section 13 (1) and 13 (II) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Vigilance registered the FIR following a preliminary inquiry based on a complaint that the official had accumulated wealth disproportionate to his sources of income. The agency has issued notice to banks to freeze his accounts. During the UDF regime, Vigilance had probed the same allegation and given a clean chit to Jose.
Jose said the Vigilance action was meant to insult him. He pointed out that the agency had earlier probed the same allegation and found little substance in it. A detailed reply would be submitted to the chief minister, he added.
Vigilance had recently raided premises of another additional chief secretary, K M Abraham, after a court registered a wealth amassment case against him. Abraham wrote to CM Pinarayi Vijayan alleging that VACB Director Jacob Thomas was harassing him and acting vengefully.
Vijayan Friday extended support to Thomas. Vijayan told the Assembly that there were forces that did not want to see Thomas as VACB director. “Vigilance committed certain lapses while raiding Abraham’s house. However, that does not mean someone can smoke out the Vigilance director,’’ said Vijayan.