In a jolt to Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy ahead of May 16 assembly polls, a local court on Friday dismissed his interim plea to restrain opposition leader V S Achuthanandan from levelling ‘false’ allegations against him.
Second additional district and sessions judge A Badharudeen observed that an injunction would be an encroachment in the rights of the opposition leader to point out flaws in the administration.
Chandy had contended that Achuthanadnan’s statement that there were 31 corruption cases against him and 136 against his cabinet colleagues was baseless and defamatory.
The court said that “if an injunction is granted, which would work as one restraining the opposition leader from pointing out flaws in the administration, it is an encroachment in the right of the opposition leader. In view of the matter, the court is not inclined to allow the petition”, the judge said.
However, the judge made it clear that ‘the allegations and proof pertaining to the case shall remain to be opened to be adjudicated by both parties by convincing evidences during trial and the court here observes that either the allegations are true or false”.
The judge also said that this order shall not be read as one operating as a shield for adjudicating the suit of the petitioner (chief minister) on the merits and granting appropriate relief as per law.
Giving another reason for rejecting the plea, he said there was no prayer in the original suit for an injunction.
Chandy had contended that Achuthanandan’s “defamatory” statement was fabricated for the sole purpose of maligning him and the reputation he enjoys among the people of the state.
Chandy, who is contesting for the 12th time in a row from his home constituency Puthupally, also stated that the opposition leaders’s statement was “scandalous, libelous and showers sarcasm”.
Chandy in his defamation suit filed on April 28 sought a compensation of Rs one lakh from Achuthanandan for levelling baseless allegations.