New Delhi, Mar 3 (ANI): Commenting on the Supreme Court's decision to set aside the appointment of PJ Thomas as Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), Union Law and Justice Minister M. Veerappa Moily on Thursday said the government respects the judgement of the apex court, which has termed his appointment as illegal.
"We respect the judgement. Other details we won't be able to say because we are yet to go through the judgement," Moily told reporters here.
"He (Thomas) has resigned...the Supreme Court has also held his appointment as illegal," he added.
Moily said many times executive orders are challenged and these are procedural things, which are rectified later.
"At the moment we cannot talk of the pro and con," he said when queried if the Prime Minister's image took a serious beating following the verdict.
Shortly after the apex court's verdict on Thomas, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Moily to discuss the issue.
Minister of State in PMO V Narayanasamy was also present. After a brief meeting with the Prime Minister, Moily and Narayanasamy met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee
Thomas, who is facing a corruption case in a Kerala court handed over his resignation to the government on Thursday after the Supreme Court struck down his appointment as Central Vigilance Commissioner.
Thomas has sent his resignation to the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh.
A three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia delivered its verdict on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that sought removal of Thomas from the position of CVC.
The apex court, which had on February 10 reserved its judgement on petitions challenging the appointment of Thomas, said the appointment was illegal and that he must go. The apex court further said criminal case should have been considered.
Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj after the Supreme Court judgement said that the dignity of the office of the Central Vigilance Commission has been restored, and welcomed the verdict.
Earlier, a bench of Chief Justice S H Kapadia reserved their orders after hearing arguments from various sides, including those presented by Prashant Bhushan, counsel for the petitioner, the Centre for Public Interest Litigation, Thomas's counsel KK Venugopal and Attorney General GE Vahanvati.
Thomas, through senior advocate K K Venugopal, had earlier argued that he fulfilled the eligibility criteria prescribed for the CVC's post and the court could not take into account the pending chargesheet to fault him on grounds of impeccable integrity since it was not part of the qualifications prescribed under the CVC Act.
The Centre for Public Interest Litigation, an NGO and others had earlier challenged Thomas's appointment as the CVC, quoting the Palmolein import corruption case in which Thomas is an accused. (ANI)