Kerala Forest Minister Binoy Viswom, who has been at the centre of a controversy with the opposition alleging that he helped a businessman sell forestland to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), was on Tuesday given a clean chit in the case by a court here.
ISRO purchased 82 acres of land in Ponmudi, 75 km from here, from businessman Savy Mano Mathew in March. The opposition had alleged that the land belonged to the forest department and was sold in connivance with Viswom who belongs to the Communist Party of India (CPI).
Vigilance Special Judge K Sasidharan Nair on Tuesday dismissed petitions against Viswom saying that the two petitioners were unable to prove the charges against the minister.
Reacting to the verdict, Viswom said: "For long the opposition has been raising this issue and has been on the war path demanding my resignation and also lashing out at the state government. Neither I nor the government has done anything wrong."
P Rahim, one of the petitioners, said: "The court has not exonerated the minister and hence we will approach the High Court with this."
The Kerala High Court has also admitted a public interest petition filed in the matter. The case comes up for hearing later this month.