The Kerala High Court on Wednesday hit out at the state government for its inaction against transport minister Thomas Chandy, whose company had allegedly violated rules to construct a road through paddy fields to a resort owned by him in Alappuzha.
Considering a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking registration of an FIR against Chandy, the bench of Justices PN Raveendran and Devan Ramachandran asked the government whether there is any special consideration for the minister.
The court also observed that if it was an ordinary citizen, he would have been evicted using bulldozers, adding that all are equal before the law.
When the matter came up, the government counsel informed the court that it was probing the cases against the minister. The authenticity of all the documents need to be examined before filing a report, it said. The government also pleaded that there is no special consideration for Chandy.
Chandy has been facing allegations of filling paddy fields for the construction of a parking space for his lake resort and also encroaching Marthandam backwaters.
The PIL 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 Chandy's Water World Tourism Company, which owns the Lake Palace Resort in Alappuzha.
Chandy, a nominee of the NCP in the LDF government, has been under attack from the Congress and the BJP ever since the allegations surfaced against him 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 a serious violation of rules".
A businessman-turned-politician, Chandy joined the ministry in April following the resignation of AK Saseendran over allegations of sexual misconduct.