New Delhi, Jan 18 (JNN): BJP on Tuesday lashed out at Centre saying that it was shameful on its part to defend tainted CVC PJ Thomas before the Supreme Court.

General Secretary BJP, Ravi Shankar Prasad, in a press briefing, directly attacked Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and said that it was a shameful defense on the part of the government to file an affidavit defending the appointment of CVC.

Prasad said, “Sushma Swaraj said make anyone CVC but Thomas”

He said the Government was trying to save CVC and this puts a serious question mark on it’s integrity. The opposition wants to know the reason behind Government’s compulsion for saving Thomas, he added.

BJP also questioned the Government for not revealing names of those involve in the on- going black money trail issue. Government has given a list to SC which has names of 26 with accounts in Liechtenstein.

On Monday, strongly defending Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) PJ Thomas' appointment, the Government told the Supreme Court that Thomas was an "outstanding civil servant of impeccable integrity" and "fully eligible to be the CVC as per the CVC Act".

The Government in its affidavit said that "the question of suitability is squarely the domain of the appointing authority and suitability of a candidate (for CVC) cannot be raised in judicial proceedings. Further questions of integrity of an individual are a matter of suitability and not eligibility".

The Government said this in response to a petition by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) which has challenged the appointment of Thomas as CVC on the grounds that he is an accused in an ongoing palm oil import case in Kerala.

The government's affidavit said that the Thomas case in the palm oil import matter was considered by the CVC in 2007 which had cleared his involvement in the controversial report.

The apex court which will further hear the CPIL petition on Jan 27 is yet to receive reply from Thomas on the notice issued to him.

It may be recalled that in the course of the hearing of the CPIL petition on Nov 8 last year, the court had asked the Attorney General G. Vahanvati to place before it the file regarding the appointment of Thomas as CVC to show whether the prescribed consultation procedure was followed in his appointment or not.

On Nov 22, Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia asked the Attorney General to enquire from the government if Thomas could continue as CVC as the chargesheet was already pending against him in the palm oil import case.

However, the court decided to hear the matter on merits after the government persisted with appointment of Thomas as CVC.

The matter will come up for hearing Jan 27.