Coming down heavily on erstwhile V S Achuthanandan-led LDF government for allegedly engaging private lawyers at additional cost in the icecream parlour sex scandal case, the Kerala High Court on Monday observed that a "poor state" like Kerala should avoid such practices.
"In a poor state like Kerala, it was not desirable to spend more money to engage lawyers to appear for state when Advocate General and 100 law officers are appointed by the state government," a division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice C N Ramachandran Nair and Justice P S Gopinathan said during the proceedings.
The observations were made by the court while examining the allegations made by Kollakkadan Moosa Haji of Kozhikode claiming that Achuthanandan had obtained legal opinion from senior lawyers in Delhi in the icecream parlour case, which the petitioner said had caused expenditure of Rs 16 lakh from the state exchequer.
Achuthanandan had engaged private lawyers to "wreck vengeance" against his political opponents and no request had been made by the investigating officers of the home department for a legal opinion from private lawyers, the petitioner alleged.
The case relates to allegations that surfaced in late 1990s that an ice cream parlour in Kozhikode was used as a cover for luring young women into sex racket.
IUML leader and current Industries Minister, P K Kunhalikutty, was embroiled in the icecream parlour case and quit as Industries minister in 2004 in connection with the scandal.