Another judge of Kerala High Court on Tuesday recused himself from hearing the petitions challenging the CBI special court order which had acquitted CPI(M) politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan and six others in the SNC Lavalin case.
While the petitions of CBI and crime editor T P Nandakumar came up for court’s consideration on Tuesday, high court judge N K Balakrishnan recused himself from hearing the case. Unlike other three judges who had sidestepped from hearing the corruption case, Balakrishnan has given the reason for his decision.
Justice Balakrishnan said he had practiced under senior advocate C K Sreedharan, who is now close to the state government as Congress Kasargode district committee president C K Sreedharan and as special prosecutor in T P Chandrasekharan murder case.
Since the CBI special court acquitted Vijayan and others in the corruption case after admitting their discharge petitions in early November last year, Nandakumar had appraoched the high court with review petition. Three judges, K Harilal, Thomas P Joseph and M l Joseph Francis, one after another, had recused themselves from hearing the case. None of them mentioned the reason for their decision to keep away from hearing the petition.
The decision of the three judges had come under widespread cricitism with Congress MP K Sudhakaran saying that he would approach the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Retired Supreme Court judge V R Krishna Iyer had demanded the three judges should be impeached.
DDC vice-chairperson Ashish Khetan said, “As of today he does not hold the charge anymore.”