Kerala Court cases weigh on parties ahead of poll .
A clutch of legal cases cast their shadow on the politics of Kerala ahead of the assembly election tthe politics of Kerala ahead of the assembly election this year. While the United Democratic Frontis bogged down by the SNC Lavalin bribery case and the murder cases against CPM strongman P. Jayarajan.
The CPM is going through an unprecedented situation when a state committee member and district secretary of the party is accused of murder. The party is trying to play it down by invoking memories of the death sentence given to K.P.R. Gopalan in the Morazha case related to the murder of two policemen.
Any mention of the Lavalin case draws angry responses from former state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.A court had exonerated Vijayan and four others, saying there was not enough proof to submit a charge sheet. While the UDF questions the propriety of exonerating the accused even before the trial started the LDF maintains the issue is no longer relevant in the light of the cancellation of the charge sheet.
If the High Court of Kerala orders for a trial in the case, it will be a godsend for the UDF in its battle against the LDF.
Tables turn when it comes to the solar scam, kept alive by the revelations of accused Sarita S. Nair targeting ministers, including Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. The UDF is hoping that the judicial commission probing the solar scam will not submit its report before its term ends on April 27, giving it a respite as it heads for the poll.
The Left leadership is planning to press for the filing of charges on the basis of the allegations, despite the High Court’s stay on an order by the Thrissur vigilance court pushing for an FIR against the Chief Minister and Electricity Minister Aryadan Muhammed.
Except Opposition Leader V.S. Achuthanandan’s vociferous campaign for a CBI probe into the scam, the CPM is largely muted it its push for handing over the probe to the central agency. It was CPI’s V.S. Sunilkumar who file a petition seeking a CBI probe into the bar bribery case. The High Court is expected to decide on the plea before the election. Adding to the drama, the palm oil import scam may be revived yet again going by the progress of the case that has come up before the Thrissur vigilance court.
Interestingly, Justice P. Ubaid of the High Court, criticised by the CPM for sounding warning bells in the Lavalin case, dismissed the government’s decision to withdraw the palm oil case.