Kerala Forest Minister moves High Court to quash complaint

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Kochi, Nov 13 (UNI) Kerala Forest Minister Benoy Viswom today filed a petition before the High Court of the state, seeking to quash a criminal complaint filed against him by Merchiston Estate owner Xavy Mano Mathew.

The criminal complaint was filed before the Judicial First Class Magistrate, Thiruvananthauram, alleging that the Minister had made defamatory references to Mr Mathew at a press conference.

The Minister contended in the petition that the remarks were made in his capacity of a public servant and not as an individual. The necessary sanction to prosecute a public servant mandated by the Cr PC was not secured in this case and hence the complaint should be quashed.

The Court is likely to consider the petition tomorrow.

Mr Xavier Mano Mathew is involved in litigation with the State Forest Department, which has alleged that he illegally sold ecologically fragile forest land to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to set up its institute of science and technology.

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