Kerala to seek legal advice on land grab charges against minister Thomas Chandy
TV Anupama submitted an interim report last week, saying his five-star resort in Alappuzha illegally grabbed lake and wetland around its premises. It also said the resort had encroached backwaters and the adjoining land was filled with mud flouting all norms.india Updated: Oct 25, 2017 16:16 IST
The CPI(M)-led Kerala government on Wednesday decided to seek legal opinion on land grabbing charges against state transport minister Thomas Chandy, who is in the dock after the district collector of Alappuzha submitted a report confirming encroachment by the resort owned by him.
TV Anupama submitted an interim report last week, saying his five-star resort in Alappuzha illegally grabbed lake and wetland around its premises. It also said the resort had encroached backwaters and the adjoining land was filled with mud flouting all norms.
A parking lot was also built in front of the resort after reclaiming paddy fields illegally, it added.
The report has recommended strong action against revenue, agriculture, and port officials who facilitated the land encroachment.
But the minister, a Nationalist Congress Party nominee, brushed aside the report, saying the collector was misled by some forces. He moved the Kerala high court challenging the report, saying it was prepared without hearing him out. He said he built the resort 13 years ago and it was not proper to raise allegations now.
It is the first time that a minister has approached the court against the collector.
An expatriate businessman, Chandy became the minister in April last year after NCP minister AK Saseendran resigned in the wake of a telephone sex scandal.
Fissures soon surfaced in the ruling front after revenue minister E Chandrasekharan (CPI) asked chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan to take action against the minister based on the report of the collector.
Though there were many allegations against Chandy they came to limelight after he became the minister. Despite the mounting allegations against him, the chief minister defended him on several occasions inviting sharp reactions from the Congress-led opposition.
“Despite a scathing report against the minister, the CM is scared to drop him. It seems there is an understanding between the two. How can the CM who came on anti-corruption plank defend such a corrupt minister?” asked opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala.
However, CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the government will take appropriate action after examining the collector’s report in detail.