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

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He contended that an "unfair" inquiry was conducted by the district collector disregarding principle of natural justice after the "intervention" of the office of the revenue minister.

For this he is likely to leave for Delhi on Tuesday itself.

The NCP state leadership had left it to the national leadership to take a call on Chandy's continuance as minister in the Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF cabinet.

The court asked how a minister could file a petition against the government, and suggested that resigning from the Cabinet was the ideal option for him, Mathrubhumi reported. Asked if Mr Chandy would quit if the chief minister demands his resignation, Master sought to downplay it, saying "obviously a minister will have to do so if the chief minister makes such a demand".

Chandy had also allegedly encroached on the backwaters to construct a parking space for the resort, according to the collector's report.

Mr Chandy is the Nationalist Congress Party nominee in the LDF ministry.

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A division bench of the court severely criticized the minister for such a move, saying that he can not approach the court as a minister and a common man at the same time. "We will look into the complete judgement and the right decision would be taken at the appropriate time", he said.

Chandy claimed that the Supreme Court has held that there is no connection between the observations being made in an open court and a signed verdict.

State BJP general secretary M.T. Ramesh said it's a shame that the court has come down heavily and questioned the very essence of Vijayan's governance.

"It's better that the minister steps down", the Kerala High Court said.

Mr Vijayan said the LDF had earlier chose to entrust him to take an appropriate decision on the matter after looking into all aspects.

NCP state president TP Peethambaran Master along with other party leaders will meet CM. Despite the state Congress' attempts to stall Tankha through AICC intervention, he appeared for Chandy on Tuesday, after facing a protest by Youth Congress workers.

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