Justice to Dr. Jacob Thomas, IPS, DGP, Kerala Cadre
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Dr. Jacob Thomas, IPS DGP Kerala Cadre, is known to be a very upright, law abiding public servant, who has been fighting corruption tooth and nail throughout his career till date.
He was given whistle blower protection from harassment and victimization in the year 2006 by the Central Vigilance Commission, the designated Authority. The state Government had given this whistle blower protection till December, 2017.
He was Additional DGP, Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau during 2014-2015 and promoted to the grade of DGP on 31st May 2015. During 2016-17, he was Director of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau.
During the course of discharging duties of the job in 2004-05, there were threats of retaliation and therefore Whistle-blower protection was granted in 2006. For his actions without fear or favor, while working in Anti-Corruption bureau since 2014, Whistle-blower protection was requested in 2015, 2016 and 2017 to Government of Kerala, which was granted, till recently.
Now he has been targeted by the Kerala State Government with retaliatory actions, when he pointed out serious deficiency in local Governance when speaking at a seminar while discharging his public duty in the larger public and National interest.
He talked in a Seminar organised in connection with the UN Anti-Corruption Day on 9th December, 2017. He has been served a suspension order without giving him a chance to be heard in person which is a basic human right protected by the various courts of law in India, as there is a stigma attached to such an action on the senior most IPS officer of a state. This action by the State government was widely publicized in the media, much before the officer was informed about it.
Public servants have the right to follow the Rule of Law even if it is not in line with what the local Authorities of the day think, because public interest is of the paramount importance for a public servant while discharging his duty. Talking against corruption and on principles of Good governance on Anti corruption day in a state that has a policy of " Zero Tolerance to corruption", can not be construed as action against the interest of the state. At the time, the vision of the organisation that he was in charge was" Pursuit of Excellence in Governance".
His stand was for the protection of precious lives of poor fishermen that could have been saved if given due care and timely attention. This is not and cannot be violation of any service rules, life being of utmost value and even the poor in India have the right to life with dignity under our Constitution Article 21.
Dr. Jacob Thomas has thus done a commendable job and very honest in discharging his public duty in the larger public and National interest. Instead of stigmatising and humiliating him before the public, he should have been rewarded.
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