Kozhikode: In the wake of a special judge
recusing himself from the palmolein import case alleging "some
personal attack" against him, Union Minister of State for Home
Mullappally Ramachandran on Sunday said the judge has got the
right to hear or not hear a case but Congress has always
respected the judiciary.
"Criticising the judiciary in public is not the
tradition of Indian National Congress", he told reporters in
response to a query on the decision by the Special Judge of
the Thiruvananthapuram Vigilance court PK Haneefa to recuse
from hearing the 1992 palmolein import case.
"The judge has got the right to hear or not hear any
case. This is not a new phenomenon. There were several
occasions wherein judges had rescued themselves from hearing
cases," he said.
The judiciary should go independently, he said, adding
his organisation had always respected it.
Pointing out that it was not right to criticise
judgements publicly, Ramachandran said it might be questioned
at the right forums.
The vigilance court judge, who had ordered investigation
into the role of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in the
palmolein import case, had rescued himself yesterday, saying
there was "some personal attack" against him.
Chandy was the Finance Minister when the deal was signed
and late Congress leader K Karunakaran the Chief Minister.
The case pertains to import of 32,000 tonnes of palmolein
from Malaysia, allegedly causing a loss of Rs 2.32 crore to
the state exchequer.