Kochi: The Kerala government stated in the High Court on Thursday that former Vigilance director Jacob Thomas cannot be given whistleblower's protection as action was initiated against him for dereliction of duty.
"Thomas is a government official, not a whistleblower. He made a fallout during official work. He cannot be given protection in the name of exposing corruption," the government said in an affidavit filed in the High Court on Thursday.
Thomas had approached the HC seeking protection against victimization and harassment under the Whistleblowers Protection Act.
The government filed a reply following a court directive, seeking a response to his petition alleging that he was facing humiliation and retaliation for performing his duties.
The case will be taken up for hearing in the first week of March.
Jacob Thomas, who was heading the Institute of Management in Government (IMG), was suspended over his criticism of the government’s Cyclone Ockhi relief efforts. He was also served a notice seeking explanation in this regard. However, he justified his earlier stand in a strongly worded reply.
Claiming that his statements were based on facts, he said it was a citizen’s duty to speak and act against corrupt practices. The police department needs to stay unbent, he added in his reply.
He filed the petition under the Whistleblowers Protection Act at a time when the state government was planning to initiate further action against him for the anti-administration remarks in his explanation.
The state government, which was to initiate stringent disciplinary action against the suspended IPS officer, found itself on the backfoot after his latest move.