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HC rejects plea by Ker minister; pulls him up for moving court

14 November 2017

The Kerala High Court, earlier in the day, rejected Chandy's plea in connection with the land grabbing case.

The division bench of the court of Justice P.N. Ravindran and Justice Devan Ramachandran came down heavily on Chandy and observed that it was very unusual what a state Minister has filed a petition against the state government "which questions the failure of the collective responsibility of the cabinet".

Amid increasing demands for the resignation of Transport Minister Thomas Chandy, who is facing encroachment charges, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said that an "appropriate decision" would be taken at the right time.

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Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said an "appropriate decision" on the minister would be taken after considering the court's order and NCP's stand.

In Kochi, the NCP state executive discussed the matter and chose to inform the national leadership about its decision on the matter.

"We can not disclose our decision to media", he told reporters. The state government also faced the court's wrath, with the bench questioning the lack of action on the part of the government on the district collector's report and said the government is trying to place it on the court's shoulders.

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There was a violation of the collective cabinet responsibility by the minister, the court held. "If needed, I may approach the Supreme Court too", Thomas Chandy said. 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, the bench commented.

A group of Youth Congress activists waved black flags at Tankha and shouted slogans just before he left for the Kerala High Court.

The Congress party in Kerala was put in an embarrassing spot after the party's senior Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha, a former Additional Solicitor General of India, appeared as counsel for Chandy. "I'll arrive at decision after getting a copy of the verdict", he had said while speaking to media persons here on Tuesday evening.

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HC rejects plea by Ker minister; pulls him up for moving court