Special Correspondent

`Legal aspects of court verdict being examined'

  • State to seek additional allocation in Railway Budget
  • To demand formation of Southwest Railway Zone

    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs M. Vijayakumar has said the Government will take a decision soon on steps to be taken in the light of the Supreme Court verdict setting aside the Narendran Commission report.

    Replying to questions at a press conference here on Tuesday, the Minister said the Government was only examining the legal aspects of the court order. The verdict was silent on appointments made so far on the basis of the criteria fixed by the Commission to identify and exclude the `creamy layer' among the backward communities from reservation. Clarity was lacking on the norms to be followed in appointments to be made until a new commission reviewed the criteria. So, clarifications would have to be sought from the court as part of a review petition.

    (Meanwhile, a meeting of higher officials on Tuesday is understood to have favoured the appointment of a new commission to review the criteria. The Cabinet is likely to decide on the matter on Wednesday. The Supreme Court might be approached for clarification on past and ongoing appointments.)

    Mr. Vijayakumar said the Government and Members of Parliament from Kerala would be approaching Railway Minister Lalu Prasad to press for additional allocations to Kerala in the Railway Budget. They would also demand formation of a Southwest Zone consisting of the Thiruvananthapuram Division, Palakkad Division, Konkan Railway and the Salem Division. The Madurai Division could also be added to it. The proposal had already been submitted to the Centre and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had sought a report on it.

    The Minister said that though the Railway Budget had given importance and due consideration to Kerala, the electrification of the Shoranur-Mangalore lane and establishment of electrical multiple unit car sheds at Palakkad and Kollam had been left out. Besides, more allocations were needed for the railway over-bridges. At least all the bridges over National Highways needed to be completed this year.

    He said a monitoring system would be formed in Thiruvananthapuram and New Delhi to track the development of the railway network in the State on a permanent basis. Officials of Railways would also be part of the set up.