Kochi: Embattled minister Thomas Chandy has reportedly sought permission from NCP top brass to resign from the Kerala cabinet and has refused to withdraw his petition from the High Court.
Talking to the reporters, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said apt decision would be taken at the right time. Pinarayi made the statement after the Kerala High Court dismissed Thomas Chandy's plea.
Earlier in the day, a division bench of the High Court hearing Chandy's appeal to quash the Alappuzha district collector's report on the land grab charges has slammed the transport minister for the constitutional impropriety of questioning the decision of the government in which he himself is part.
The bench asked Chandy whether a minister could file a case against the government that he is part of. “Is Chandy's act against the Constitution? You are attacking the government." Only if there are any directives in the collector's report can it be questioned, the court observed.
The act in itself provides reason enough to sack him, the court observed.
The bench also observed that Chandy could approach the government or the collector if there were anomalies in the report. Instead he took the issue to the court of law to cling on to his ministerial post.
After these harsh observations, the bench had given time till 1.45 p.m for Thomas Chandy to decide whether or not to withdraw the plea.
The bench also pointed out that the government failed to take action at the right time.
The government also changed its stance, terming the minister's act of approaching the court against him as immature.
Meanwhile in Kozhikode, the chief minister's security staff heckled reporters who sought to get Pinarayi's reaction about the court's adverse remarks on Thomas Chandy. The CM has been deftly evading queries after the controversy about the minister's alleged involvement in the land grab charges broker out.
Pinarayi was here to participate in the concluding ceremony of Kerala Rally for Science, a mass campaign aimed to foster scientific awareness.
Chandy had roped in Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha to defend him in the High Court on Tuesday over his alleged involvement in encroachment of government land.
Alappuzha district collector T U Anupama's report was sought by the government and by challenging it in the court of law, serious questions of constitutional impropriety has propped up.
The court observed that the act of approaching the court itself meant that the minister has lost trust in the ministry he is part of.
Three public interest litigation against the minister and the petition Chandy filed against the collector's report are being considered by the High Court.
NCP leader Chandy has been facing the heat after Alappuzha district collector submitted an inquiry report confirming the allegations.
Chandy had also allegedly encroached on the backwaters to construct a parking space for the resort, according to the collector's report.
The adverse remark against him could probably mean the government can no longer afford to defend him.
The ruling LDF had authorized CM Pinarayi to take a call on his continuation in the cabinet.
Chandy became a minister only eight months ago, following the resignation of his party colleague, A K Saseendran, from the state cabinet over the issue of an alleged sleaze talk with a woman.