Land allotment case: Only a brief reprieve for Achuthanandan

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VS Achuthanandan
Kochi, Dec 6: Barely four hours after a single-judge bench of the Kerala High Court dismissed the first information report (FIR) against former chief minister VS Achuthanandan in a land allotment case, the court's division bench today ordered a stay on the verdict.

Earlier in the day, Justice SS Sateeshchandran said that the FIR had no merit and must therefore be cancelled. The judge observed that the investigating officer seems to be ignorant of the procedure involved in registering a case.

Achuthanandan has been accused of ensuring the allocation of 2.33-acre land to his relative to TK Soman, an ex-serviceman, while he headed the Left Democratic Front government in the state.

Besides Achuthanandan's personal assistant Suresh, CPI leader KP Rajendran who served as Revenue Minister during the LDF regime and two officials have been named as accused in the case.

However, the court termed the charges against Achuthanandan as "frivolous" and noted that that the prosecution had failed to build a proper case against Achuthanandan.

In an apparent reference to the veteran CPI-M leader's campaigns against corruption in high places, the court said that anti-graft crusaders cannot be defeated by conspirators.

Achuthanandan's contention that some politicians including those charged with sexually abusing girls had framed a false case to malign him cannot be rejected outright, the judge noted.

Reacting to the verdict, Achuthanandan told newspersons here that Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Muslim League leader PK Kunhalikutty had failed in their efforts to unseat him from the post of Leader of the Opposition. Kunhalikutty holds the Industries portfolio in the United Democratic Front (UDF) government.

Achuthanandan asked the media to unearth the conspiracy to defame him and quipped: "The people have now come to know of the truth."

The government immediately went in for an appeal. Though the High Court's division bench that is headed by Chief Justice Manjula Chellur stayed the single bench's verdict, the government was directed not to file a charge sheet against Achuthanandan till next week when the court will again take up the case.

OneIndia News

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