The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to entertain petitions filed by the former Kerala Minister, R. Balakrishna Pillai; and a contractor and his close friend, P.K. Sajeev, seeking review of the sentence of one-year rigorous imprisonment awarded to them in the Idamalayar Hydroelectric Power Project case.
A Bench of Justices P. Sathasivam and B.S. Chauhan, in a brief order passed in the chambers, said: “Applications for oral submissions, bail, stay [of the sentence] and recalling of judgment dated February 10 are rejected. We have carefully gone through the review petitions and the connected papers. We find no merit in the review petitions.”
On the review petition filed on behalf of the former Chairman of the Kerala State Electricity Board, Ramabhadran Nair, who was stated to be terminally ill, the Bench posted the matter for hearing on Thursday.
On February 10, the Bench, acting on a special leave petition by Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan (who was then Leader of the Opposition) against a Kerala High Court judgment, sentenced the three accused to one-year imprisonment. In his review plea, Mr. Pillai said the seminal question “which arises in this petition is whether it would be open to the leader of a political party to utilise a system for the purpose of prosecuting a leader of the ruling party at that time for purely political gains.”
‘Provisions not specified'
The impugned judgment “does not state or specify the provisions or the statues under which the accused are sentenced. It “does not state either that the order of acquittal passed by the High Court is set aside or that the conviction passed by the trial court is restored.”
Mr. Pillai said: “Article 21 of the Constitution guarantees that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law. The events in this appeal establish that the deprivation of the personal liberty of the petitioner is not according to the procedure established by law.”