THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson has refused to entertain DGP Jacob Thomas’ request to file a defamation suit against Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. A final decision in the matter will be taken by the Chief Minister.
Jacob Thomas, the former Fire Brigade chief, in his letter to the Chief Secretary said Chandy’s remarks on the denial of permission for 77 highrises were defaming to him. Chandy had termed Thomas’ actions as “anti-development” and “anti-government.” Thomas, in his letter, said he denied no-objection certificate to the high-rises in public interest. The buildings flouted the National Building Code and fire safety rules.
The Chief Secretary, based on legal advice from the Law Secretary, said the All India Service Rules do not provide for such a privilege. “The government cannot give sanction to an official to file a case against the Chief Minister. The official can look for other options like filing a private petition or approaching the court after retirement,” he said.
The Law Department had cited a Supreme Court ruling to deny permission to Thomas. The Chief Secretary on Monday evening sent the file to Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala. With the Home Minister’s remarks, the file will be submitted for consideration of the Chief Minister who will take a final call on the matter. The three-member committee headed by the Chief Secretary is yet to submit its report to government on whether to give sanction for the 77 highrises.