THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With back to back vigilance case, the re-probe into separate charges of corruption against IAS Officers Association president Tom Jose has raised several eyebrows. A section of bureaucracy suspects vendetta behind the move. Many officers believe that the re-probe into the allegation that as PWD Secretary Mr Jose had bought an estate at Sindhudurg in Maharashtra at a cost of over Rs 1.5 crore, was uncalled for since the additional chief secretary (Home) had already probed the matter and found the allegations baseless.
The vigilance case and reopening of Sindhudurg land deal is seen as move to bring Mr Jose’s name under cloud. Jose, who has service up to 2020, is tipped to be the chief secretary by 2018 and is likely to get at least two years in office. There seems to be a deliberate attempt from certain quarters to bring his name under the scanner quite early on. It may be recalled that Mr Jose had clarified that he took a loan of Rs 1.23 cores from a nationalised bank to buy the landed property in Maharashtra.
To repay the loan he took assistance from two individuals; P.J. Davies who is his father in law and Dr Anita Jose a family friend. He had then pointed out that all details of the purchase had been given to government in 2010 when the land was bought. The information was declared in his annual property testament 6 years ago. As per All India Service Rules, any officer who carries out such a transaction should get prior permission of the government.
Vigilance case had registered case against Jose on Saturday in connection with various corruption allegations pertaining to the Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited, including a Rs 1.21 crore in Magnesium purchase, during 2011-15 period. Regarding KMML allegations, Jose had clarified that he had held the charge of KMML managing director only for six months. The decision to go for global tender was taken in view of the reports that better quality magnesium was available in the international market and the price increase could be due to market fluctuations. Sources close to the officer said he was preparing to effectively counter the allegations levelled by vigilance in connection with KMML magnesium purchase.