Media reports baseless: CM

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday said the government was firm in its decision to go for a probe by the CBI in the Data Centre case involving a decision by Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan, during his term as Chief Minister, to hand over the State Data Centre to Reliance Communications.

Addressing a press meet here after a Cabinet meeting, Mr. Chandy said news reports about a government move to withdraw from the CBI probe were baseless. The reports were focussed on the opinion expressed by the Attorney-General in the court. The government had already decided to go for a CBI probe and had taken necessary steps. The Attorney-General’s opinion had been misinterpreted, he said.

The issue was discussed in the United Democratic Front and with Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala. The Cabinet once again discussed the matter in detail and decided to stick to the CBI probe.

After the Cabinet took the decision on March 6, 2013, steps had been taken to issue a notification. But on April 12, the court issued a stay order. In the case of the notification, which is required for handing over the case to the CBI, the process was a bit elaborate since it had to be vetted by the Law Department.

The government had since sought legal advice and it had been decided to inform the court the government’s stance on the CBI probe. Terming it a communication gap, Mr. Chandy said he would own up the mistake rather than blame the AG. Mr. Chandy defended Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, stating that he had no role in the issue.