KOCHI: Former Vigilance Director Jacob Thomas has approached the Ernakulam Bench of Central Administrative Tribunal, challenging the suspension order issued by the state government for allegedly violating All India Service (Conduct) Rules.
Jacob Thomas sought a directive to declare that the suspension and entire disciplinary proceedings initiated against him were arbitrary and illegal. The government had initiated action against him for his speeech at the seminar organised by Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi in December 2017. He had stated that investigation for the fisherman who went missing in the Ockhi cyclone was delayed. He also landed in trouble for publishing his works, 'Sravukalkkoppam Neenthumpol' and 'Karyavum Karanavum'.
Thomas argued that he only blamed officials for their mistakes and the speech was not a criticism against the government policy as per Rule 7 of the All India Service (Conduct) Rules. Besides, the books are considered ‘literary or artistic work’ under Rule 13 of the Rules that do not require the previous sanction of the government. The government by misusing the Rule was trying to put a blanket ban on the freedom, Thomas stated in his petition.