KOCHI: In his 35-year stint as an IPS officer, Jacob Thomas is known as someone who rakes up controversies. Now that he is officially hanging up his boots on May 31, Jacob Thomas has lashed out at the LDF government saying he had never been the Left front’s favourite and was given the Vigilance director’s post in 2016 as a ploy to accommodate Loknath Behera, a junior officer, as the state police chief.
“When the LDF government returned to power in the year 2016, they removed the incumbent state police chief, TP Senkumar. Though I was the senior-most officer in line for the post, they instead brought in an officer junior to me as the state police chief. They posted me as the director of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau because they did not have any other option,” Jacob Thomas told TNIE.
“Many thought that I was given the posting because I was the LDF government’s blue-eyed boy in their fight against corruption. It was never true. This wrong perception was created by the LDF. I had my reservations against a junior officer being appointed as the state police chief and I was never ready to take up a post under a junior officer. Above all, I continued to express my opinion freely which antagonised many.”
He said a civil service officer could survive in Kerala only if he has the blessings of a political party. “I will continue my fight against corruption and raise my voice for the downtrodden. There have been many campaigns against me alleging that I have amassed wealth. I will fight against all such allegations,” he said.
On his service story ‘Sravukalkkoppam Neenthumbol’ (Swimming with Sharks), he said there was nothing illegal about it as he had not violated any rules. “My batch mates in other states have written similar memoirs and they have not faced any issue. I will fight the charges against me,” he added. Thomas, who had been under suspension since December 2017 for criticising the state’s poor response to Cyclone Okhi, was reinstated in service as the managing director of Metal Industries Ltd in Shoranur after he won a favourable order from the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT). It’s certain that the retirement life of this civil servant will not be smooth as the state government has given sanction to prosecute him for publishing the service story without prior permission from the state.
He will also be facing the charge of criminal misconduct for wilfully concealing acquisition of 50 acres of farmland in Tamil Nadu from the government. The state home department had given sanction to prosecute him in the case after a preliminary probe by the Crime Branch found that he had violated provisions of the Prohibition of Benami Property Transaction Act.