Allegations of corruption against V.S. Achuthanandan termed ‘preposterous and unworthy of any merit’

The observations made by the Single Bench of the High Court while quashing the criminal proceedings against Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan on Thursday is a damning indictment of the State government.

In his judgment, Justice S.S. Satheesachandran held that the FIR registered in the ‘land assignment case’ against Mr. Achthuthanandan did not make out any offence, but gave enough room to sustain his allegation that he had been proceeded against with a view to malign him before the public.

“Fixing the man and getting the cross ready for crucifixion, was it a case in search of nails. If that be so, however sharp and pointed the nails are, where the cross is made of softwood, each attempt to nail the person would shatter that wood into pieces,” the court observed.

Going by the allegations in the FIR and the totality of circumstances, Mr. Achuthanandan’s contention that the case was registered to tarnish his image before the public by imputing corruption against him could not be brushed aside, the Court said.

The allegations of corruption against Mr. Achuthanandan were ‘so preposterous and unworthy of any merit.’ The exclusion of some government officials from the case after the registration of the crime also lent credence to the case of the petitioner that he who was fighting corruption relentlessly throughout his political career was sought to be projected as corrupt.

The court also flayed the Director of Vigilance for rejecting outright a representation by Mr. Achuthanandan complaining that the probe was being conducted in an unfair manner.

The Director of Vigilance was not an ornamental or glorified post for accommodating a senior police officer of the State, the Court observed. The Director had rejected the representation citing a report received from the Superintendent of Police, Vigilance, Kozhikode, that the investigation officer concerned was carrying out his work in a fair and reasonable manner. The Court said that it showed ‘a sad state of affairs’ and ‘how the vigilance wing in the State is functioning.’

The Court also noted that the reply was given after the filing of the writ petition by the Leader of the Opposition. The court held that it was too hazardous to hold that Mr. Achuthanandan had given instructions to the officials with any dishonest intention to favour of his relative, that too abusing his official position in the backdrop that the land was assigned in favour of Soman in 1977.