Kochi: The Kerala High Court has slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 each to former minister Thomas Chandy and six others for seeking to withdraw four petitions he and others filed for quashing the FIR by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau in the land encroachment case against him.
Although the court allowed the pleas to withdraw, it expressed displeasure for wasting the valuable time of the court.
It pointed out that the withdrawal petition was filed when the court was set to pronounce the judgment on Monday. The action by the petitioners is not a good precedent, the court observed.
It asked them to pay the fine within 10 days. Mr Chandy, one of the directors of Lake Palace Resort in Alappuzha, and others of the resort were facing charges of encroaching the backwaters and revenue land for the construction of a parking space and road to the resort.
The NCP leader quit as Kerala’s transport minister amidst high drama on Nov 15, 2017. His resignation became unavoidable after the High Court dismissed his plea to quash land grab charges against him, suggesting he lost the constitutional right to hold office. It came after four ministers of the Communist Party of India (CPI), the second ruling coalition partner, going to the extent of boycotting a cabinet meeting.
Mr Chandy moved the HC in his capacity as a minister against a report of the district collector, confirming that he had filled the backwaters, built the approach road spending public money and levelled paddy fields.
The court dismissed this and asked him first to resign, and then dispute the report of the collector who is part of his government....