Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

HC rap leaves Thomas Chandy under mounting pressure

HC rap leaves Thomas Chandy under mounting pressure

After a spate of political volleys that forced the administration to crack down on the state transport minister, it was the turn of the Kerala High Court to come down like a tonne of bricks on the errant minister.

The court had earlier today dismissed a petition by Mr Chandy, challenging a report by the Alappuzha district collector on alleged encroachments by a company in which he has stake.

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.

In two sessions, on either side of the lunch break, the judges made a number of damning observations about the minister.

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. There was once a Kayal (lake) Raja, Murikkummoottil Thommen Joseph, who created history worth emulating in the 1930s by converting about 2,000 acres of a lake into the cultivable paddy fields of Kuttanad.

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.

Thomas Chandy had moved the high court challenging the findings of an official probe that said he was guilty of public land encroachment and ecological violations.

Chief Minister Vijayan told the media that the decision of Chandy's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is awaited.

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.

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

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