The Kerala High Court today came out against the state government for its inaction against state Transport Minister Thomas Chandy, whose company had allegedly violated rules to construct a road through paddy fields to a lake resort owned by him in Alappuzha district. Considering a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking registration of an FIR against Chandy, the bench of Justices P N Raveendran and Devan Ramachandran asked whether there is any special consideration given to the minister.
The Court observed that if it was an ordinary citizen, he would have been evicted using bulldozers. All are equal before law, the court said. When the matter came up, the government counsel informed the court that it was probing the cases against the minister. The authenticity of documents produced by the minister on the issue need to be examined before filing a report, it said.
The government also pleaded that no special consideration was given to Chandy. The PIL filed sought a court directive to register an FIR for alleged violation of provisions of Kerala Land Conservancy Act and Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act by Water World Tourism company which owns the Lake Palace Resort in Alappuzha.
Chandy has been facing allegations for allegedly filling paddy fields for the construction of a parking space and encroaching Marthandam backwaters.
Chandy, a nominee of the NCP in the CPI(M)-led LDF government, has been under attack from the Congress-led UDF opposition and the BJP ever since the allegations surfaced some time back.
Stepping up its demand for Chandy’s resignation, opposition alleged there was “mystery” behind Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan protecting the transport minister even after the revenue minister had accepted the district collector’s report that “found serious violation of rules”.
A businessman-turned-politician, Chandy joined the ministry in April following the resignation of A K Saseendran over allegations of sexual misconduct.