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Petition against Karat and other CPI(M) leaders dismissed

Last Updated: Monday, July 27, 2009 - 16:06

Kochi: Kerala High court on Monday dismissed a
petition seeking contempt of court proceedings against 12
CPI(M) leaders, including General Secretary Prakash Karat, for
allegedly making `prejudicial` statements in a graft case in
which Kerala party chief Pinarayi Vijayan is an accused.

Political parties are entitled to their views on
political issues, Justice M Sashidharan Nambiar said,
dismissing the petition by `Crime magazine Editor` T P

"Their statements do not tend to interfere in the
administration of the justice. In a democratic system, all
political parties can take such views," the court held.

Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura Chief Ministers-- V S
Achuthanandan, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Manik Sarkar
respectively, politburo members S Ramachandran Pillai,
Pinarayi Vijayan and state ministers-- Kodiyeri Balakrishnan,
Paloli Muhammedkutty, Thomas Issac, M A Baby, P K Sreemathi
and P K Gurudasan are among CPI (M) leaders against whom
contempt proceedings were sought to be initiated by the

The CBI court had earlier dismissed the petition saying
prima facie it was not maintainable.

The petitioner claimed that with CBI submitting the
`final report` in the SNC Lavalin case, the matter was still
in court but Karat had discussed the issue in recent party
forums and stating that Vijayan was innocent.

Such statements that a person accused and facing trial in
a criminal case was not involved in corruption, interferes
with the due course of justice, the petitioner had contended.

Persons holding constitutional positions who had taken
oath to uphold the rule of law had also made similar
statements, which would `prejudice` the trial and the leaders
were guilty of contempt of court, petitioner alleged.

CBI had submitted its final report against nine accused,
including Vijayan and soon after, CPI(M) started taking the
issue to the streets, petitioner said.

The case relates to alleged irregularities in awarding
contracts to the Canadian firm SNC-Lavalin for renovating
three hydro electric projects when Vijayan was Power Minister
in 1998.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, July 27, 2009 - 16:06
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