HC raps Kerala minister in land grab case

15 November, 2017, 04:25 | Author: Valerie Burke
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Chandy had petitioned the HC seeking to quash the collector's report, which reportedly confirms the veracity of charges of encroachment on land and backwaters for the construction of a resort owned by him.

He also stated that he approached the court as an ordinary citizen and not as a minister.

Despite this furore, the chief minister has said a decision will be taken when the time is ripe-not quite in character when one recalls the alacrity with which he first let go his second-in-command E P Jayarajan and A K Saseendran, Chandy's party-mate from the NCP. Soon after arriving here on Tuesday night, the minister said that even if he were to resign, he would return to Cabinet hundred times more powerful once the case gets over.

A minister approaching the high court against his own government is unheard of and it means that the minister has lost his trust in the government and the chief minister, it observed.

"We are embarrassed to say that a minister can not file a writ petition against his own government", the court orally observed, reported The Hindu. However, the court equated the minister's petition to a high court judge challenging the decision of the full court and dismissed it.

He contended that an "unfair" inquiry was conducted by the district collector disregarding principle of natural justice after the "intervention" of the office of the revenue minister. "If there is an observation against me in the verdict, no doubt, I will quit", he said to a query on the growing demand for his resignation. He would have talks with CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan also.

Both the State and central leadership of the NCP on Tuesday eschewed responsibility of taking a call on the continuance of Transport Minister Thomas Chandy in the State cabinet.

A division bench of the high court, comprising justices P N Raveendran and Devan Ramachandran held that a minister can not file a petition against his own government, which had ordered the district collector to look into the matter and submit a report.

Mr Vijayan said the LDF had earlier chose to entrust him to take an appropriate decision on the matter after looking into all aspects.

The state leadership of the Congress has expressed their strong resentment to the party high command.

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