Pillai says he will face sentence, VS feels vindicated

Written by: Pti
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Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 10: Former Kerala Minister R Balakrishna Pillai, who was today sentenced by the Supreme Court to one year rigorous imprisonment in a graft case, said he would surrender before the court on receiving the summons.

A visibly upset 76-year-old Pillai replied in the negative when reporters asked if he planned to file a revision petition.

"I will surrender when I get the summons. This is the reward for serving the people all these years," Pillai, whose party Kerala Congress (B) is a constituent in the Congress-led UDF, said.

Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan, who has spearheaded the legal battle against Pillai for two decades, said the apex court ruling had vindicated his stand and he saw it as a "warning to those who thrive by stealing public money."

Achuthanandan said this was the first time that a former minister from Kerala was being punished in a corruption case.

"I have to fight for over two decades for this. I had to face personal abuses and criticism for persistently pursuing the case. Now I feel vindicated", the 86-year-old CPI-M stalwart said.

Achuthanandan has also been pursuing the palmolein oil import case in which Central Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas has been listed as an accused.Thomas was a secretary in the Kerala Ministry of Food and Civil Supplies when the alleged scam took place.

Asked about the case, Achuthanandan said his information was that the stage was set for the trial.


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