Transport Minister Thomas Chandy who faced allegations of levelling paddy fields and criticised by the High Court resigned.
He is the third minister who is resigning from the Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet. Chandy submitted his resignation after discussing with the NCP national leadership.
Thomas Chandy has resigned after several political debate over the issue. After the NCP meeting, Chandy handed over the resignation letter to the party leadership and left to his constituency, Kuttanad, in Alappuzha district.
During the political debate, CPI had taken a strong stand against Thomas Chandy demanding his resignation. Former Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan too had criticised Chandy for continuing in power.
Before the NCP meeting, Chandy met Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and held discussions in this regard. Chandy had also participated in the cabinet meeting.
The allegations against Chandy are that portions of Marthandam Lake in Alappuzha were levelled for the construction of his Lake Palace resort and paddy fields leading to the resort were filled in to construct a road. He is also accused of encroaching upon backwaters for constructing parking space.
A probe report submitted by district collector TV Anupama had confirmed the allegations to be prima facie true, but instead of taking action, the Vijayan government decided to send the report for further legal opinion.
While considering a writ petition challenging the report of the Alappuzha district collector, the High Court slammed the minister for the constitutional impropriety of questioning the decision of the government in which is is also a part. The court observed whether the minister could file a case against the government.
‘You are attacking the government. The act in itself provides reason enough to sack him, the court observed.
“It’s a classic case for disqualification. The writ petition shows that the Minister has lost trust in the Chief Minister and the government in which he is also a Minister. We are embarrassed to say that a minister cannot file a write petition against his own government,” the court said.
Here, a minister has moved the court against his own government and arraigned the Chief Secretary as a party, the court said. Instead of filing a writ petition, the Minister should approach the Alappuzha district collector and submit that the land in question is not owned by him, the court observed.
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