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15 November 2017, 04:25 | Erica Roy
HC rejects plea by Kerala minister; pulls him up for moving court
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.
Vijayan had come under fire from several quarters for protecting Chandy, much against the wishes of the other allies of the Left Front government.
The opposition Congress-led UDF and the BJP have been demanding the resignation of Chandy over allegations of land encroachment. "We will look into the complete judgement and the right decision would be taken at the appropriate time", he said. From asking him to step down from his ivory tower to asking if he had lost trust in the CM and the government in which he is also a minister, the list was long and embarrassing. He cited a Supreme Court observation that court's oral observations need not be considered as final verdict.
There was a violation of the collective cabinet responsibility by the minister, the court held. He would have talks with CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan also.
A bench comprising justices P N Raveendran and Devan Ramachandran held that a minister can not file petition against his own government, which had ordered the district collector to look into the matter and submit a report.
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.
The state unit of NCP has sought the opinion of its national leadership, state president T.P. Peethambaran told reporters.
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 leaders of the party maintained high probity in public life.
Speaking to the media later, Tankha said they are studying the verdict and will decide on what needs to be done.
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