Thomas Chandy should better resign, says Kerala High Court
- Kerala High Court said it is better for Chandy to resign from ministerial post
- The court also dismissed Chandy's petition challenging the collector's report on alleged encroachments by him
- The judges asked whether it is possible for a minister to file a case against a government in which he is part of.
Kerala High Court on Tuesday said that it is better for Thomas Chandy to resign from the post of minister.
The court made the comment while hearing an appeal filed by the Minister to quash the report of Alappuzha district collect on the encroachment charges slammed against him.
Considering the petition court reminded about the Constitutional impropriety of a minister questioning the decision of the government, in which he himself is a member. The division bench also said that the government does not trust the minister anymore.
The judges asked whether it is possible for a minister to file a case against a government in which he is part of. "Is the act of minister unconstitutional?" the court asked. The only thing that can be questioned is any directive in the report filed by the collector.
The High Court dismissed his petition challenging the collector's report on alleged encroachments by a company in which he has a stake.
Thomas Chandy had earlier said that he would quit if the observation against him is in the signed verdict of the high court on his petition against the Alappuzha district collector's report on alleged encroachments. "Let me get the signed verdict. If there is an observation against me in the verdict, no doubt, I will quit," he said to a query on the growing demand for his resignation.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said an 'appropriate decision' would be taken at the right time after examining the high court order and the NCP's decision. Chandy is the Nationalist Congress Party nominee in the LDF ministry.
The NCP executive meeting had discussed the matter and decided to inform the national leadership about its decision on it.
A division bench of the high court, comprising justices P N Raveendran and Devan Ramachandran held that a minister cannot file a petition against his own government, which had ordered the district collector to look into the matter and submit a report. There was a violation of the collective cabinet
responsibility by the minister, the court held.
"It shows that you have no trust in your own government and chief minister," the bench said, observing that it was "extremely improper" for a minister to file a petition against his own government.
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.
The three-time MLA from Kuttanad had joined the Pinarayi cabinet in April after party nominee A K Saseendran resigned after a sleaze audio with a woman went viral.
The businessman-turned-politician has been under attack for the past one month from the opposition Congress-led UDF and the BJP over charges that a luxury resort at Kuttanad in Alappuzha district, owned by him, had allegedly encroached backwaters and violated land rules. Alappuzha District Collector T V Anupama had recently submitted a report to the government, stating there was large-scale violations of Kerala land conservation act and Conservation of Paddy land and wetland act.
Challenging this, the minister had moved the high court, which dismissed his petition.