The Kerala government Friday asked Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) director Jacob Thomas to go on leave. The VACB director’s charge was given to DGP (law and order) Loknath Behera. Thomas’s style of functioning had come under criticism from the judiciary. Thomas told media that he was going on leave for a month as per instruction from the government. Indicating that he would not return to service, Thomas said, “It is meaningless to continue in government service. I would later reveal the reason for going on leave.’’
Thomas, a 1985-batch IPS officer, was appointed VACB director soon after the LDF came to power. Despite controversies, CM Pinarayi Vijayan backed him. The Kerala High Court, however, came down heavily on Thomas on several occasions. Two days ago, while considering a petition to quash a vigilance case, the high court had asked the government how it can go ahead with Thomas as VACB director.
Reacting to the development, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said the CM should explain why he removed Thomas suddenly after ‘protecting’ him till now.