Ker­ala HC dis­misses Min­is­ter Chandy’s pe­ti­tion

Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

KOCHI: In a set­back to the Pi­narayi Vi­jayan gov­ern­ment, the Ker­ala High Court on Tues­day dis­missed a pe­ti­tion by state Trans­port Min­is­ter Thomas Chandy for quash­ing the Alap­puzha district col­lec­tor’s re­port which al­leged large-scale land grab by him to build a plush re­sort.

The di­vi­sion bench of the court of Jus­tice P N Ravin­dran and Jus­tice De­van Ra­machan­dran came down heav­ily on Chandy and ob­served that it was very strange what a state min­is­ter has filed a pe­ti­tion against the state gov­ern­ment “which ques­tions the fail­ure of the col­lec­tive re­spon­si­bil­ity of the cab­i­net”. Through the judg­ment, Chandy has lost all hope of con­tin­u­ing as a min­is­ter.

Chief Min­is­ter Vi­jayan told the me­dia that the de­ci­sion of Chandy’s Na­tion­al­ist Congress Party (NCP) is awaited. “We will look into the com­plete judge­ment and the right de­ci­sion would be taken at the ap­pro­pri­ate time,” he said.

Vi­jayan had come un­der fire from sev­eral quar­ters for pro­tect­ing Chandy, much against the wishes of the other al­lies of the Left Front gov­ern­ment.

Ever since the al­le­ga­tion of land grab sur­faced three months back, the Congress-led op­po­si­tion, the BJP and even the sec­ond big­gest ally of the Vi­jayan gov­ern­ment —the Com­mu­nist Party of In­dia — had been de­mand­ing the res­ig­na­tion of Chandy.

Vi­jayan had very strongly de­fended Chandy on the floor of the As­sem­bly.

Leader of Op­po­si­tion Ramesh Chen­nithala told re­porters in Palakkad on Tues­day that it’s sur­pris­ing that while Vi­jayan was quick to get the res­ig­na­tion of his close aide E P Ja­yara­jan and A K Saseen­dran, in Chandy’s case that did not hap­pen.

“This clearly shows that the ‘money power’ of Chandy holds sway and Vi­jayan has a soft corner for him,” said Chen­nithala.

NCP state act­ing pres­i­dent T P Peetham­abaran said a de­ci­sion on Chandy would be taken by the NCP par­lia­men­tary board.

“We stand be­hind Chandy, but the fi­nal de­ci­sion rests with the Chief Min­is­ter,” said Peetham­abaran.

“The Left Demo­cratic Front has en­trusted Vi­jayan to take the ap­pro­pri­ate de­ci­sion,” said State CPI sec­re­tary Kanam Rajendran.

The con­tro­versy over Thomas Chandy’s al­leged land grab sur­faced af­ter Alap­puzha district col­lec­tor T V Anu­pama submitted a re­port in Au­gust say­ing that por­tions of the Marthandam Lake had been usurped for build­ing the Min­is­ter’s plush Lake Palace Re­sort, be­sides a paddy field was lev­elled for a park­ing lot for the re­sort.

Pi­narayi Vi­jayan

Thomas Chandy

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