Administrative tribunal orders reinstatement of Kerala's top cop Jacob Thomas1 min read . Updated: 29 Jul 2019, 03:19 PM IST
- Jacob Thomas was suspended by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan in 2017 after he criticised the state government over law and order
- During Lok Sabha elections in May, Thomas asked for voluntary retirement to contest the polls but his request was declined
Bengaluru: Jacob Thomas, Kerala’s controversial top cop, who claimed he was unfairly suspended by the ruling Left government for speaking against it, won a battle of sorts on Monday when Central Administrative Tribunal in Ernakulam ordered his reinstatement.
The order is a setback for communists and is likely to be used against the state government by Thomas and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party , which he is speculated to join soon.
Thomas is a director general of police and the director of anti-corruption watchdog, Vigilance Department. He was suspended by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan in 2017 after he criticised the state government over law and order issues and the way it handled the crisis during cyclone Okhi. His suspension was later extended after a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report accused him of corruption when he was the director of ports department in the state.
During Lok Sabha elections in May, Thomas asked for voluntary retirement to contest the polls but his request was declined. Since then speculations have been rife that he might join the BJP, following in the footsteps of his predecessor and another controversial former top cop TP Senkumar. Speculations have only grown since he participated in an event organised by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological parent of the BJP, and criticised the state government for the way it handled the Sabarimala agitation.
The tribunal, on a petition filed by Thomas, said a senior official cannot remain suspended forever, and asked the government for his immediate reinstatement. The tribunal accepted his claims that he was targeted by the government.
The state government is likely to move the Kerala High Court against the order, said senior government officials requesting anonymity.
Thomas said his arguments against the government had been vindicated. “Justice has been served," he said to local news channels.
On voluntary retirement, he said: “The central government is yet to take a decision on that. I hope it will consider the tribunal order while deciding on my application for voluntary retirement."