Govt still on Jacob Thomas' trail; demands UPSC to take action over his books

The latest move against Jacob Thomas is for his books “Karyavum Karanangalum” and “Sravukalkkoppam Neenthumbol” written in 2017. Photo: Manorama Online

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Government has approached the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), demanding action against the former Director General of Police (DGP) Jacob Thomas for writing books without its permission.

An official in the rank of deputy secretary will be flown down to Delhi in order to hand over to the Central recruitment agency the relevant documents. The government is unable to take any departmental action against Thomas as he has retired.

Since Thomas was appointed as an IPS officer by the UPSC, the agency’s permission is necessary for taking any disciplinary action against him. The State government took measures for this through the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. Two days ago, the Home Ministry had asked the State to submit all the relevant documents in the issue through the single window system of the UPSC, before June 15.

The books
The former IPS official who had retired three years ago riled the authorities particularly with his book ‘Sravukalkoppam Neenthumbol’ (Swimming with the sharks). As is well-known he had an eventful tenure in various posts in Kerala and was suspended twice from service for publishing this book.

The latest move against Jacob Thomas is for his books “Karyavum Karanangalum” and “Sravukalkkoppam Neenthumbol” written in 2017. The first book was released by the CPM leader M A Baby. Although the second book was scheduled to be released by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the function did not take place. Later, he was suspended after the speech delivered by him during the Anti-Corruption Day was considered to be against the government, and kicked up a controversy.

Thomas, who became persona non grata to the government, was suspended again on the charge of writing the book, as a continuation of the authorities' vengeance against him. He returned to service after the period of suspension and retired in May 2020. Later, he became a candidate of the BJP in the 2021 State election.

Witch hunt?
The ex-top cop is pursued by the State even three years after his retirement. Strangely, there has been neither an inquiry nor any action against M Sivsankar, the former Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, for publishing a book soon after he came out of jail after his arrest over links to a major gold smuggling racket.

Thomas's retirement benefits withheld
There is also an inquiry against Thomas on the charge of having committed irregularities in buying a dredger while he was the Director of the Department of Ports 10 years ago. Even though seven IAS officials were consecutively entrusted with the investigation against Thomas from 2018, each of them had merely handed back the file when they retired.

Since Asha Thomas, who was the last official to deal with the case has retired, the matter has been handed over to Sarada Muraleedharan, the Additional Chief Secretary in the Local-Self Government department. She has been asked to submit the inquiry report within three months.

Thomas has also been served with a charge memo accusing him of having accepted the "News Maker" award from a news channel. The investigation in this regard is also expected anytime.

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