Anti-corruption official facing graft charges in India quits

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The Independent Online

India's senior anti-corruption official resigned yesterday after the Supreme Court ruled that his appointment was inappropriate because he faces graft charges in a decades-old case.

The ruling is the latest blow to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government, which has fought off a string of high-profile corruption scandals.

PJ Thomas quit as central vigilance commissioner after the ruling, said the Law minister, Veerappa Moily.

Several other former officials in state are also accused of causing losses to the state by accepting a higher-priced contract for the import of palm oil decades ago.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party opposed Mr Thomas's appointment, saying the position should go to someone of impeccable integrity.

But the government went ahead with giving him the job, which was subsequently challenged in court.

In their ruling, the Supreme Court justices KS Radhakrishnan and Swantantra Kumar criticised the government for not considering the pending criminal case against Mr Thomas.