Welcomes High Court order for CBI probe in land grab cases

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has welcomed the High Court of Kerala order initiating a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into two land-grab cases involving his former gunman Salim Raj.

However, he lamented that the adverse observations by the single judge against his office were made without hearing his version.

Nothing to hide

Interacting with mediapersons here, Mr Chandy said his government was never opposed to a CBI investigation in the issue and informed the same court earlier that it was not averse to any investigation. “I have nothing to hide and transparency is the hallmark of my public life,” Mr. Chandy said.

When reporters drew his attention to the court observation that the authorities at the helm of affairs in the State had not been “prudent and responsible” in appointing personal staff with integrity and character, Mr. Chandy turned emotional and said the observations never formed part of the verdict and they were made without soliciting his version. “This is not a complaint. I have nothing against the court. Just made my stand clear in reply to these questions,” he said.

Asked about the court observation that the Chief Minister’s office must be a model institution serving the people of the State, Mr Chandy said the proposed CBI investigation would reveal the whole truth with full clarity.

“A judicial investigation is already on. Decks have been cleared for the CBI investigation now. As the people’s court is the ultimate one, we are taking the whole issue before them in the Lok Sabha election. Let the truth come out and let the people judge,” he said.

Referring to the Opposition demand for his resignation, Mr. Chandy said he wanted to debate the issue in the Lok Sabha election as a key issue. “Finally, the Opposition has got a subject for debate in the elections. Let them celebrate it. I am going to the people’s court,” he said.

Flays Kodiyeri

Mr. Chandy also came down heavily on the then Home Minister and CPI(M) leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan for his alleged slow pedalling in the case against Salim Raj, when it originated.

Terming himself a victim of vendetta politics of the LDF, Mr. Chandy said their protests against him in solar scandal case were barbaric and devoid of any political base.

In response to further questions on the court’s observation, Mr. Chandy said he was just pleading for justice entitled to a common man. “I never wanted special favours or concessions as a Chief Minister. I deserve treatment as a common man,” he said.

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