HC raps Kerala minister in land grab case

HC raps Kerala minister in land grab case

HC raps Kerala minister in land grab case

He may file a petition in the court, seeking to cancel the high court order.

Transport Minister Thomas Chandy is gearing up to approach the Supreme Court, in the wake of the high court cancelling his petition.

Challenging this, the minister had moved the high court, which today dismissed his petition. "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.

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The probe had found that a lake-side resort run by Chandy in a pristine location in Alappuzha district may have potentially violated environmental laws and encroached upon government land, among other illegalities, while building an approach road and reclaiming a portion of the lake for setting up a parking lot.

The court cited Article 164 (2) of the Constitution, which stipulates that the council of ministers is collectively responsible, to say that a minister is expected to support the government in public even if he/she does not privately agree with its decision. 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. Chandy is the Nationalist Congress Party nominee in the LDF ministry. The CPI, the second largest party in the ruling coalition, persisted with a different tone - "When ministers lead parties, instead of parties leading their ministers, we have such unfortunate situations", state secretary Kanam Rajendran said.

The state unit of NCP has sought the opinion of its national leadership, state president T.P. Peethambaran told reporters.

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The LDF entrusted chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday to take a decision.

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

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