In a big relief to Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, the High Court has suspended Vigilance court’s order to register a FIR against him. The High Court has said that there is no case against the Congress CM in the solar scam case.
Slamming the Vigilance court, the High Court said that the Vigilance court acted mechanically without knowing the nature and extent of its powers.
On Thursday, a Vigilance court in Kerala had ordered an FIR against Chandy and his Power Minister Arayadan Mohammed in connection with the solar scam. The Vigilance court’s order had come on a private complaint made by PD Joseph who had sought a probe on the claims made by prime accused Saritha.
On Wednesday, Saritha S Nair while deposing before the Justice Sivarajan Commission in Kochi, alleged that she had paid Rs 1.90 crore as bribe to a close aide of the Chief Minister. She also alleged that she paid Rs 40 lakh to the Power Minister.
Meanwhile, the CPI-M led LDF is mounting pressure on the CM to resign. Several students and activists staged protests in front of the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram. The protest march by DYFI, the youth wing of CPI(M), turned violent in Thiruvananthapuram as the police chased the stone-pelting crowds with batons and used tear gas and water cannons against them. Several people including mediapersons were injured in the clashes. Similar protests also erupted in Kozhikode and Alappuzha.
On Thursday, CPI(M) veteran VS Achuthanandan had demanded Chandy’s immediate resignation and warned of a massive agitation if he didn’t resign. On the other hand, a defiant Chandy did a press conference where he denied all charges.
“I cannot be removed from the post by raising false alarms,” Chandy had said while accusing the CPI-M led LDF of running a campaign against him.
What’s interesting is that CM Chandy finds himself in the same place his former finance minister KM Mani and Excise Minister K Babu were a week ago. Babu resigned hours after the vigilance had filed an FIR against him in the bar bribery case on January 23. And Mani was forced to quit just hours after the High Court made some stinging observations against him.
However, the Congress continues to back Chandy and has dismissed all demands for his resignation.
(With inputs from PTI)